Mara Powell
502-895-8167 *122

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

Reforming child welfare seemingly has been everyone’s chant for years in Frankfort. House Bill 1 is making that rhetoric into a reality.

We applaud the House Health and Family Services Committee for their unanimous support of HB 1, which sets forth a comprehensive plan for strengthening how Kentucky supports children impacted by abuse and neglect. This legislation reflects the efforts of the House Working Group on Adoptions and the strong commitment to prioritize the well-being of children.

It is especially encouraging to see that HB 1 is built around two commitments: emphasize efforts at the front end of the system and commit to the ideal that every kid needs a family.

HB 1 tackles those big commitments by addressing the entire continuum of care by making changes to the foster care and adoption system, including strengthening front end support to help keep families together and, when that’s not possible, addressing timelines for adoption cases so children do not linger in care without a permanent family. The bill also includes a number of changes to improve the performance of programs and to help ensure decisions prioritize the best interest of the child.

The components of HB 1 align with the priorities identified by the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children and the Kosair Charities Face It campaign to end child abuse. That means that legislators and on-the-ground leaders are on the same page when it comes to putting kids first.

We applaud the diligent work of the House Working Group on Adoptions and for the leadership of co-sponsors Representative Meade and Representative Jenkins on HB 1.

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.