Mara Powell

LOUISVILLE, KY – The Kentucky General Assembly has a notable track record of stepping up for children who have experienced abuse or neglect, and that commitment continued today as the Kentucky Senate supported passage of Senate Bill 8, sponsored by Senator Julie Raque Adams.

SB 8 will impact children across the child welfare continuum – from child maltreatment prevention to investigation to healing and foster care. This legislation will create a uniform definition of child abuse and neglect, establish new membership of the State Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board, ensure victims of child maltreatment have access to critical medical examinations, broaden the definition of fictive kin, expand opportunities for youth aging out of foster care, and more.

Across the Commonwealth, too many children are victims of child abuse or neglect each year. When children have experienced — or are at risk of experiencing — abuse or neglect, they need policy and programs that target prevention and seek to safely keep families together. When child abuse or neglect occurs, children need access to the best care in order to heal. SB 8 serves as a next step in Kentucky’s efforts to fundamentally strengthen and reform the child welfare system. This legislation can be even stronger by expanding Medicaid reimbursement eligibility for qualified medical providers who perform forensic services for children experiencing child maltreatment in Emergency Departments and specialty clinics, like the Departments of Pediatric Forensic Medicine at the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville.

With our partners in the Kosair Charities Face It Movement, we are celebrating passage of SB 8 by the Kentucky Senate and we thank Senator Julie Raque Adams for championing the measure. As the bill advances, we now call on the Kentucky House to support its passage.

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