Mara Powell
502-895-8167 *122

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

House Bill 158, which received unanimous support by the Kentucky Senate and was concurred by the Kentucky House today, is the commonwealth’s first step to ensuring state law is aligned with the comprehensive federal Family First Prevention Services Act. Kids thrive when they are safe and have the support of a stable family and strong community. And off the heels of last year’s House Bill 1 child welfare reforms and state budget investments, the Family First Act offers the commonwealth a prime opportunity to propel child welfare transformation efforts and continue to improve policies and practices that focus on keeping kids safe and with a family.

The bill’s alignment with the Family First Act is within its requirements for stronger background checks of private child-caring agencies who work with some of Kentucky’s most vulnerable kids. Though an amendment to the bill reduced the types of agencies required to participated in those checks, the bill fulfills the federal requirements. We are especially pleased to see HB 158 prioritizes the young people who’ve experienced abuse or neglect by establishing a bill of rights for children in foster care.

We applaud Representative Meade for his leadership on HB 158 and the Kentucky House and Senate for their support of this legislation. Thank you to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services for their support of HB 158 and work to ensure Kentucky is among the first states implementing the Family First Act.

Stay up-to-date on Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children priorities and other bills that are good for kids on our Kentucky General Assembly Bill Tracker.


About Kentucky Youth Advocates
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