Overhaul Of Foster Care, Adoption In Early Stages

Feb 14, 2017

Credit Ky.gov

The Kentucky General Assembly is looking at ways to improve foster care and adoption, although the real push for reforms is likely a year away.

Gov. Matt Bevin is calling for change when it comes to state adoptions and foster care.  He raised the issue during his State of the Commonwealth address last week.

During testimony before a House committee, Cabinet for Health and Family Services Deputy Secretary Tim Feeley said the administration will be working with the Annie E. Casey and David Thomas foundations as well as Kentucky Youth Advocates.

“And hopefully in legislative session 2018, we’ll be bringing a full bill on overhauling the entire adoption, foster care, ” he said.

Feeley said for now the effort is on so-called “low hanging fruit” proposals. The cabinet won committee backing last week for legislation to allow the emergency placement of children with people not directly related by blood but who are already in a child's life, like a Sunday school or a neighbor.

Kentucky’s foster care and adoption procedures are getting scrutiny during the legislative session.  Last week Bevin called for a thorough review during his State of the Commonwealth address.  Senate President Robert Stivers agrees it is time for significant reforms.

“It has become such a bureaucratic nightmare that many qualified, but not as well-to-do parents, have a hard time adopting children, even though they’d be wonderful parents,” he said.