Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates
Today, the Kentucky Senate unanimously supported House Bill 2 to affirm the critical role that thousands of grandparents and other relatives serve as they step up to care for children who cannot remain safely with their parents.
As HB 2 heads to the Governor’s desk for signature, it should serve as the launch pad needed to ensure a quality infrastructure around the Commonwealth’s rich tapestry of Kentucky’s kinship caregiver heroes. And by establishing the much needed reporting mechanism, HB 2 can help us better understand the current state of kinship care in Kentucky – an imperative for accountability, efficiency, and strategic planning.
Every Kentucky kid needs and deserves a family, and kinship caregivers are key to kids who’ve experienced abuse or neglect having a safe and stable place to call home. And as the Bevin Administration implements its transformation of child welfare – and that effort is, in fact, a positive sea change – we need to see the same vigor applied to kinship care as is rightfully being applied to foster care and adoption. Kinship families need those cornerstone supports like financial assistance, respite care, and on-the-ground training opportunities to best support the vulnerable kids in their care.
We thank Representatives Chris Fugate and David Meade for championing HB 2 and members of both chambers for their unanimous support of the bill.
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 www.kyyouth.org.