Today’s passage of SB 176 by the Senate Judiciary Committee is a true affirmation of the importance Kentuckians place on family values. The bill helps family members who are stepping up to raise kin children when the children’s parents are unable to do so. SB 176 makes sure kinship caregivers can access health care and educational services for children in their care when legal guardianship is not feasible.

We know that grandparents, aunts and uncles, and other relatives often step in to care for kin children on a short-term basis without knowing how difficult it will be to navigate the complex education and health care systems. We also know that children fare better when they can stay with relatives than if they are put in foster care, and this bill supports relatives willing to do that. This is a common sense solution that doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime.

We commend Senator Harper Angel, who was raised by her grandmother, for sponsoring this important piece of legislation. The passage of SB 176 today represents a step forward to help children currently being raised by relatives in Kentucky. We now encourage all members of the Senate to support this bill on the Senate floor.