Andrea Bennett

Statement by Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates

We thank the House Judiciary Committee for passing SB 40 to create a pilot project to open courts in child welfare cases. This bill, sponsored by Senator Julie Raque Adams, will provide an opportunity to evaluate how opening courts impacts children and the systems involved in child welfare cases through this pilot effort. We appreciate the work of the External Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Panel for bringing forth this solution as one of several solutions to prevent future child abuse deaths.

We know transparency can help bring to light challenges and promote accountability of various systems but also understand the importance of evaluating the outcomes for children in an effort such as opening courts. We look forward to this bill moving forward in the House and becoming a reality this session.