Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates
The Commonwealth has made strides in child welfare system reforms in recent years, but we must do more when it comes to preventing child abuse from ever occurring. That’s why Senate Bill 40 is so important: it closes fault lines in the system to protect children in foster care from harm and does so in a direct and pragmatic way.
Today we’re celebrating passage of SB 40, sponsored by Senator Ralph Alvarado, by the House Health and Family Services Committee. This safety measure will close the gaps in fingerprint background checks and provide both the private and public agencies working with children in the foster care system the necessary information about their potential and current employees.
Fingerprint background checks can help identify those who should not be working with children based on previous safety concerns, including issues that lead to criminal charges. SB 40 will ensure agencies have access to the necessary information about employees, empowering them to make an informed decision on allowing that person to work with children. Fingerprint background checks are especially helpful when considering adults who have previously lived or committed violent crimes in other jurisdictions.
Keeping kids safe is an adult responsibility. We thank Senator Alvarado for championing SB 40 and Chairwoman Kim Moser and members of the House Health and Family Services Committee for supporting it. We call on the full Kentucky House to support this important measure and prioritize the safety of children.
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.