Common Ground: House Bill 1

05/07/2018 03:59 PM

FRANKFORT- There are currently more than 9,000 children in foster care in Kentucky.

A new law in Kentucky—hopes to reduce that number by overhauling the adoption and foster care system.

House Bill One was introduced this past session by Republican Rep. David Meade, R-Stanford, and Democrat Rep. Joni Jenkins, D-Louisville, a bipartisan group of more than a dozen lawmakers also added their names as co-sponsors of the bill.

The groundwork for this overhaul began last year—as a working group used several meetings and gatherings to make recommendations.

The bill seeks to strengthen support to help keep families together by tightening the timeline for termination of parental rights, establishes the Child Welfare Oversight and Advisory Committee within the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services — which will focus on the improving foster and adoption within the state. It also gives grandparent kinship providers more rights, and foster parents more input in the child-welfare process. The measure will also increase efforts to hire and retain social workers, make home inspections standardize to better ensure a home is safe, and establishes a putative father registry.

Gov. Bevin—who has adopted several children—posted a video on twitter celebrating the day he signed the bill.

“Think of all the families in Kentucky – foster families, adoptive families, people wanting to adopt, kids wanting to be part of a forever family – whose lives will be made better by this.” he said in the video.

Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates, praised the passage of the bill.

“In a time of division – in a time when it is easy to become disenchanted with the political process – HB 1 is silhouetted as an example of the powerful good that can come when elected leaders lead. Its impact will be profound and sweeping. Every Kentucky kid deserves a family and HB 1 can make that happen,” he said in a statement.

The measure passed with only one “no” vote.

Watch the segment here:

Michon Lindstrom

Michon is a producer for Pure Politics. Michon comes to Kentucky from Springfield, Illinois where she served as the statehouse reporter for the NBC affiliate. During her time in the Land of Lincoln she covered the state’s two year budget impasse and the largest school funding overall in Illinois history. Pure Politics airs weeknights at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Michon on Twitter at @MichonLindstrom or reach her by email at michon.lindstrom@charter.com

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