Statement from Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates
LOUISVILLE, KY – From prevention to recognition and reporting, every adult has a role to play in addressing Kentucky’s high rate of victims of child maltreatment. And at 6th in the nation in the rate of child maltreatment, the Commonwealth has made progress in this arena but still have a long way to go. With the Kosair for Kids Face It Movement policy team, we are celebrating today as Senate Bill 229 receives support from the Kentucky House as another step in that progress.
SB 229 contains four critical pieces to close gaps in abuse reporting laws and strengthen how we support families at risk:
- Ensures that if maltreatment is suspected of an employee of a reporting agency, it must be reported accurately and in a timely manner directly to an appropriate external reporting agency.
- Clarifies that agencies cannot utilize a chain of command process so that reports are made directly from the professional who suspects abuse with key details and insight around the alleged maltreatment.
- Allows the Department for Community Based Services to do an assessment rather than an investigation, when appropriate, as a means to strengthen prevention and early intervention efforts and build a more collaborative relationship with the family facing an investigation.
- Takes steps to establish an Agency Representation Model to improve efficiency within the child welfare system by allowing the transfer of case hearings to the Office of Legal Services within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
We thank Senator Julie Raque Adams and Representative Samara Heavrin for championing SB 229 this legislative session to create better outcomes for children and families. Before the final gavel, we urge the Senate to concur with the House changes and ask the Governor to sign this important piece of legislation into law.
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.
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