As House Bill 1 moves through the Kentucky legislature, we wanted to take a deeper look into the specifics of the bill and its components. HB 1, which is co-sponsored by Representatives David Meade and Joni Jenkins, seeks to keep kids safe and improve how Kentucky responds to and supports families. The bill is a big step toward getting us to a place where all the parts of the child welfare system and related policies work together and produce better outcomes for all involved. It addresses policy change within the courts, within the Cabinet for Health and Family Service (CHFS), and within the organizations and agencies serving kids who come to the attention of child protective services.
Some major highlights of HB 1 include:
- The development of an advisory committee within the legislature that focuses just on child welfare system improvements
- A focus on quality of and access to family preservation services for children and parents
- Ensuring foster youth in care aren’t kept from retrieving their birth certificate due to the costs associated with requesting copies from the state
- The establishment of a kinship care program and other supports within state statue
- Advanced notification to foster parents before a child in their care moves placements to help with a smoother transition for the child
- Changing processes, procedures, and requirements established for children in out-of-home care for timely reunification with their parents or other types of permanency within a family
For a deeper dive into HB 1, view a summary of bill components and why they’re good for kids here.
HB 1 is currently awaiting action by the Kentucky Senate. HB 1’s movement can be tracked on the Kentucky Youth Advocates Kentucky General Assembly Bill Tracker here.
Note: The summary document is an overview of Kentucky Youth Advocates’ analysis of selected portions of HB 1 as of March 22, 2018. Amendments and substitutes are often made throughout the legislative process, and we will attempt to update as necessary.