Bevin names religious leader as state "adoption czar"

05/03/2017 10:50 AM

UPDATED: Governor Matt Bevin has appointed a Louisville religious leader to lead changes to the state’s adoption and foster care system.

In a news release, Bevin announced Daniel Dumas, a senior vice president at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, would oversee the changes to the system starting June 19.

Dumas has served with the seminary in Louisville since 2007. According to the governor’s office, Dumas is a published author and professor of Christian ministry and leadership.

“There is no reason a child in Kentucky, who is ready to be adopted, should be without a family,” Gov. Bevin said in a news release. “We have to rethink the way we do foster care in this state, and Dan Dumas is just the visionary to help lead that charge. Dan is a servant leader, and his proven track record of excellence in innovation will help us cut through the red tape currently keeping 8,000 of Kentucky’s foster children from their forever families.”

Bevin first promised to appoint a czar during the State of the Commonwealth address in February.

During a March summit Bevin and officials with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services appealed to nonprofit and religious leaders for their help in finding permanent homes for Kentucky’s 8,000 foster youth.

In a statement, Dumas said he was honored to serve the administration.

“I am resolved to make our adoption and foster care system faster, safer, more affordable, and more accessible,” Dumas said. “Gov. Bevin and I are committed, along with many other Kentuckians, to not back down until every orphan in Kentucky has a loving home.”

Dr. Terry Brooks the executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates said the appointment of Dumas underscores Bevin’s commitment to children and families.

“This new position carries real potential as a catalyst for change,” Brooks said. “And we hope that the Governor and the czar will embrace the call for revolution and not incremental improvement around the child welfare system, be that about adoptions or preserving families, kinship care or abuse and neglect prevention.

“Real change is predicated on making kids a priority as the state budget is crafted,” Brooks continued. “You cannot support children without investing real dollars into the system that ensure every kid is safe, healthy, and resilient. The ethical obligation for every leader in Frankfort is to continue to translate ideas into action when it comes to kids. The Governor and General Assembly did exactly that during the 2017 session and we are confident in that same commitment in 2018 and beyond.”

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Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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