Andrea Bennett

Statement by Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates

We applaud the passage of House Bill 475, sponsored by Representative Rita Smart, by the full House today, which will help keep children safe in two settings they often spend time. The first provision allows parents to check the Child Abuse and Neglect Central Registry maintained by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to find out if potential babysitters have substantiated cases of child abuse or neglect on their records. This will allow parents to have important information when hiring caregivers for their children.

HB 475 also ensures public schools check the Child Abuse and Neglect Central Registry upon hire of new employees. Schools should know whether a potential hire has a substantiated case of abuse or neglect to be able to make the best hiring decision for the safety of students while at school.

We thank Representative Smart and the full House for passing HB 475 today which helps protect children in places where they learn and grow. We now ask the Senate to act on HB 475 and move it forward this session. We appreciate the bipartisan work of the General Assembly to protect children from the tragedy of abuse.