On January 29 the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services announced cuts to some vital programs for children, in response to a projected $86.6 million budget shortfall for the Department of Community Based Services. The planned cuts target the Kinship Care Program and the Child Care Assistance Program both of which affect thousands of families and children across the Commonwealth. Cutting the Kinship Care and Child Care Assistance Programs will cost the state more money in the long run, and make it harder for Kentucky to build a prosperous, competitive economy.
Cuts to child care subsidies will undoubtedly force some families to make drastic decisions; including quitting their job or leaving their children in inadequate and potentially unsafe care that puts them at risk of harm. These cuts further penalize the working poor-it’s taking a step backward on their quest to become self-reliant and provide a better future for their children.
Kentucky has been a national leader in helping grandparents and other relatives care for kids affected by abuse or neglect. Kids recover faster and better with relatives than with strangers even well-intentioned strangers. A kinship care subsidy for grandparents and other close relatives costs the state just $300 a month, while payments to foster care parents costs around $600 a month.
PLEASE ACT NOW TO PROTECT KIDS FROM CUTS:
- Contact Governor Steve Beshear and ask him to reprioritize state spending, support reopening the budget to find resources, or call a special session to create new revenue to support the needs of kids. Call his office at (502) 564-2611 or send a message electronically by visiting: http://governor.ky.gov/Pages/contact.aspx.
- Contact your state legislators and ask them to reopen the budget to find resources to support the needs of kids. Let them know how these cuts will affect you and your community.
- Forward this alert to others and ask them to act to protect kids from cuts.