Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates
Today offers real hope and real promise to Kentucky’s kids and families with the announcement that Eric Clark has been named DCBS Commissioner. That job demands head and heart, compassion and rigor, a big picture perspective and attention to detail. Eric Clark exemplifies that complex job description.
As Commissioner, Eric faces an array of immediate opportunities and obligations. The effective implementation of HB 1’s sweeping reforms; ensuring that Kentucky benefits from the major federal child welfare reform, Family First; the efficient and speedy re-opening and strengthening of the kinship program are major and immediate imperatives for the new Commissioner.
Along with the clear need for a focus on child welfare, Eric also must attend to an array of other policy arenas. As an example, Kentucky can significantly improve our child care system by immediately applying new federal dollars to increasing reimbursement rates for child care providers. That move is not only a win for kids but for workforce development and local economies as well.
In dealing with Eric on a range of issues – some of which we agree on and some of which we have not – I have found him persistently transparent, ethical and thoughtful. Those ingredients foreshadow what I predict will be a successful tenure as Commissioner.