Mara Powell

Statement by Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates

Common sense won in the 6th Circuit Court ruling. And so did kids.

All children who are removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect have undergone trauma. And all of them need support from caring and capable adults who have the resources to meet their needs. For too long in Kentucky, we have created a false dichotomy in which children placed with relatives are not offered the same resources as those placed with unrelated foster parents. The 6th Circuit Court ruling affirmed that we can no longer ignore the burden this places on children in kinship care, and the dedicated caregivers who are stepping up for them.

These are the state’s children and as such deserve state support. A caring adult should not be discriminated against because they are a relative.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has decided to appeal the 6th Circuit Court’s January ruling. We urge the Supreme Court to uphold the decision to pay relatives who provide foster care for children in the same way it pays licensed foster care providers.