Kentucky Lawmakers are making some changes to the adoption and foster care laws in the state. Glenna Bevin is the first lady of the state. She stated that the changes that are being made are one of the most beautiful things that she has seen in a long time. Governor Matt Bevin stated that he supports the laws.
The bill states that children who are taken by the Department of Children and Family Services must be reunited with their family or put up for adoption within 15 months. The sponsored bill has been sent to the House. Representative David Meade is one of the people who introduced the bill. He stated that the goal is to reduce the number of children that are in foster care.
The number of children in Kentucky being taken from their homes due to neglect or abuse has increased drastically. Last year, there were 11,387 children in Kentucky living in foster care. Sixty-seven percent of the children in foster care are eventually returned to their homes.
Terry Brooks is executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates. She stated that the bill shows that the state is committed to the well-being of children. It also shows that they want to strengthen support for children who have been hurt by neglect and abuse.
The bill requires that social workers’ caseloads be reported to the Department of Community-Based Services. Unmarried men will also be required to register with the state if they want to have a say in whether or not the child is put up for adoption. Additionally, the bill proposes that social worker pay be increased and more social workers be hired.