After 15 years as Executive Director of Judi’s Place for Kids, Kretzer resigns to assist child advocacy centers statewide

For Immediate Release

August 5, 2020

After 15 years as Executive Director of Judi’s Place for Kids, Kretzer resigns to assist child advocacy centers statewide


Judi’s Place for Kids has announced that after fifteen years as executive director Laura Kretzer is leaving effective August 14. 

Kretzer will soon begin a new position as director of strategic initiatives and programming for the Children's Advocacy Centers of Kentucky. Long-time forensic interviewer and assistant director Pamela Taylor will serve as interim executive director until the board of directors concludes an executive search.

During her time as executive director at Judi’s Place for Kids, Kretzer has led the organization to provide investigative and healing services to thousands of children and their families in their five-county service area, which includes Pike, Floyd, Martin, Magoffin, and Johnson counties.  Under her leadership, the organization has expanded its staff, expanded its building, achieved national accreditation, added a satellite location in Prestonsburg, established the CASA of Eastern Kentucky program, and established a facility dog program.  Kretzer says, “I’m truly thankful for the amazing opportunity to serve the community in this role for so many years.  It’s only been with incredible contributions from community partners, staff members, volunteers, and the whole community that the program has been able to serve the children, and that’s what it’s all about.”

“We have been fortunate at Judi’s Place for Kids to have had the expertise of dedicated people throughout our history who truly believe in making a difference in children’s lives.  While this is a loss for our center, we are excited for Laura and her new opportunity and wish her the best,” President of Judi’s Place for Kids Board of Directors Sheila Belcher said. “In addition, her new position at the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Kentucky will enable Laura to continue to support Judi’s Place for Kids in its growth and development, as they assist all child advocacy centers in sustainability across the state.”

For more information on helping the children in the community struggling with abuse, visit the Judi’s Place for Kids website at

For consideration in the executive search, email a resume and cover letter to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  More information about the position is available on the website. 


Judi’s Place for Kids is a bright solution for abused children - a community working together promoting safety and justice, offering hope and healing so that all may thrive and reach their full potential.  A non-profit organization and member of the Kentucky Association of Children’s Advocacy Centers and the Kentucky CASA Network, Judi’s Place for Kids serves hundreds of child abuse victims each year from Pike, Johnson, Martin, Floyd, and Magoffin Counties.  The program is named for the involvement of Kentucky’s First Lady and Pikeville native Judi Patton on behalf of abused children statewide. Professionals and trained volunteers help protect children from abuse and help them heal through advocacy, forensic interviewing, medical services, community education, and coordination with community partners. 

Keeping Eyes on the Children in 2020

Special message for 2020

Thank you to Mountain Top Media for sharing this special message about child abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Please watch and take note of how we can all keep our eyes on the children.



April 2020 E-Newsletter

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Child Abuse Prevention Month - More important than ever

While it's important during this COVID-19 crisis for us to be healthy at home, the fact of the matter is that many children will not be safe from abuse and neglect during this crisis.  Parents and caregivers, as well as children, are experiencing higher levels of financial and emotional stress, both associated with increased risk for all forms of abuse and neglect.  Children and adults are isolated physically from their support systems.  Abused and neglected children are less likely to be around protective adults who normally would have noticed and reported suspicions of abuse.  


So we need to be more pro-active than ever in supporting children and families during this unprecedented time.  


Judi's Place for Kids staff and CASA volunteers are continuing to provide services to abused children, in different ways than we have in the past, using available technologies and remote work as much as possible.  Staff and volunteer advocates are conducting their contacts by telephone and videoconferencing.  CASA volunteer applicants are completing volunteer screening and training through videoconferencing.  Staff are conducting virtual meetings with the board and volunteers.  We are in touch with our national and state organizations on a daily basis for ideas on implementing new ways to work to protect children and strengthen families.


What can you do to help protect children?  How can we all support caregivers before abuse starts?  


  • Call and use video calling technology to check on children in your life, with caregiver's knowledge and permission.  
  • Share accurate information about applying for assistance or local resources that are available to help meet concrete needs.  Feel free to call us at Judi's Place for Kids if you need help locating a resource.
  • Share posts about stress reduction on social media.
  • Offer ways to help while still maintain social distancing.  Can you pick up groceries?  Can you talk to families in their yard while maintaining distance?
  • Check out this link for ideas on reducing the risk of child sexual abuse when arranging childcare:
  • Make time to meet your own social/ emotional needs during this stressful time.
  • Report suspected child abuse or neglect by calling: 1-877-KYSAFE-1 or imminent danger to 911.
  • Research if becoming a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is something you can do.


Check out the ideas in this newsletter.  Pick at least one action you can take and share with a friend.


We are still recruiting, screening, and training volunteer advocates for children.  We want to be ready to provide more children with Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs), as we expect many more reports of abuse and neglect after the immediate crisis.  You can complete the application, interview process, and training remotely.  Click below to apply to become a volunteer.

Apply to Become a CASA

Strengthening Families Talking Points

 Kentucky Strengthening Families provides a framework for looking at six protective factors.

Click here for more more ideas to build up yourself and others in these factors that are great for every family!

 The six protective factors:




Thank you to everyone who sponsored, performed, shared, and donated to the All for Children Telethon!

Your support means that more children in Pike, Floyd, Johnson, Martin, and Magoffin Counties can find help, hope, and healing from abuse!  


13th Annual Run with Courage - Postponed!

We are looking forward to announcing a new date for the 13th Annual Run with Courage.  We will miss seeing so many of you at this event!  


Besides being a fun, positive, and family-friendly event that raises awareness of child abuse, Judi's Place for Kids relies on the revenue from this event to support services to abused children throughout the year. Our committed event sponsors have all stayed on-board with us for whenever we are able to safely hold the event. 


We know that many families are hurting financially at this time.  But if you are able, would you consider a one-time or monthly gift to help meet the financial needs that this event typically meets?  Click on the link below to make your secure, online donation.

Donate Now


2019 Run with Courage Info is Here!

The 2019 Run with Courage will be held Saturday, April 27, 2019 at Pikeville City Park.

We are currently seeking submissions for our T-shirt design contest.  Check out all the rules by clicking here.

Deadline for T-shirt design contest is January 18, 2019.

Check out our Fall 2017 Newsletter

Check out our Prestonsburg ribbon cutting, CASA program updates, the 2018 Run with Courage T-shirt contest and more!

See how YOU are making the difference!

 Click here to download!

National Re-Accreditation



 National Children’s Alliance recognizes Judi’s Place for Kids for its ongoing delivery of high quality and effective services to child abuse victims through accreditation



Our Mission

Judi's Place for Kids - A Bright Solution 

 - a community working together promoting safety and justice, offering hope and healing so that all may thrive and reach their full potential.

  • 128 S. College Street, Pikeville, KY 41501
  • 606.437.7447 
  • 253 University Drive, Prestonsburg, KY 41653
  • 606.886.8520
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.