Mara Powell
502-895-8167 *122

Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates

Today, Governor Matt Bevin and First Lady Glenna Bevin announced that Chris and Alicia Johnson will join the administration as Special Advisors in the Office of Faith and Community Based Initiatives. The Johnsons will work closely with the Department for Community Based Services within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to support the department’s ongoing adoption and foster care initiatives, including the transformative efforts required under House Bill 1.

If there is one arena on which seemingly a divided Frankfort agrees, it is the need for a child welfare revolution. You can’t wage that kind of revolution from Frankfort alone.  And just as principals and pediatricians have roles to play, so do faith communities. That is not a partisan statement, as Presidents Bush and Obama consistently talked about the role of faith communities in changing kids’ lives from the White House. Here’s hoping that the Johnsons can be external catalysts for a sea change in child welfare. Here’s hoping that all of us can help create an atmosphere in which openness and acceptance preclude discrimination and in which action by people of faith bears immediate and long-term fruit when it comes to caring for the ‘least among us’.


Kentucky Youth Advocates believes all children deserve to be safe, healthy, and secure. As THE independent voice for Kentucky’s children, we work to ensure policymakers create investments and policies that are good for children. Learn more at