Statement from Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates
LOUISVILLE, KY – While there has been a 33 percent reduction in child victims of maltreatment from 2017 to 2021, there were nearly 15,000 victims of child maltreatment in the Commonwealth in 2021. Keeping kids safe is an adult responsibility – whether that’s prevention, recognition, or reporting, we all have a role to play in addressing Kentucky’s high rate of victims of child maltreatment.
Senator Julie Raque Adams is once again stepping up to ensure there are no gaps in child maltreatment reporting policies by championing Senate Bill 229, which passed the Senate Families & Children Committee today. SB 229 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. It also 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. Additionally, SB 229 allows the Department for Community Based Services to use discretion when making announced or unannounced home visits as a means to strengthen prevention and early intervention efforts and build a more collaborative relationship with the family facing an investigation. This is especially pertinent when a report of abuse and neglect is found to not meet the criteria for investigation but does clearly demonstrate that a family may be in need of services that could prevent child abuse or neglect from occurring in the future.
The Kosair Charities Face It Movement policy team has diligently advocated for and brought light to these needed changes to child maltreatment reporting policies for several legislative sessions. We thank the Senate Families & Children Committee for ensuring the first step of SB 229 becoming law today. We also appreciate the bill co-sponsors Senators Julie Raque Adams and David Yates for championing this important effort to keep more kids safe.
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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