A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

First Lady Glenna Bevin holds foster care, adoption community engagement event in Owensboro

First Lady Glenna Bevin today visited Owensboro for a community engagement event aimed at empowering local faith-based, community and government groups to support Kentucky’s vulnerable children and families. The event is part of the First Lady’s new foster care and adoption initiative, “Uniting Daviess County: A Community of Care,” and featured officials from the Governor’s Office of...

Recently created adoption and foster care reform committee holds initial meeting in Frankfort

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A new committee created as part of the adoption and foster care reform legislation passed in the spring met for the first time on Monday. The committee selected co-chairman – Sen. Julie Raque Adams and Rep. David Meade – by acclamation. Meade, who was instrumental in moving the adoption foster care reform bill through legislation, said they are there to “give recommendations...

Foster care advocates join Kentucky’s initiative to transform child welfare system

Gov. Matt Bevin and First Lady Glenna Bevin announced Wednesday that Chris and Alicia Johnson will join the administration as special advisers in the Office of Faith and Community Based Initiatives. In this capacity, the Johnsons will support the Bevin’s commitment to protecting our state’s most vulnerable children by helping advance statewide foster care and adoption reform. The Johnsons will...

Rep. David Meade files priority legislation addressing adoption and foster care changes

House Majority Caucus Chairman David Meade, R-Stanford, along with primary co-sponsor Joni Jenkins of Louisville, have filed a comprehensive measure to provide reforms that will improve Kentucky’s adoption and foster care systems. The bill is the first step in streamlining the actual placement of children into loving homes in a quick and affordable manner. House Bill 1 is based heavily off of recommendations...

Gov. Bevin: 6.25% cut across board, fund pensions, workforce training, SEEK funding, adoption . . .

Gov. Matt Bevin tonight delivered his 2018 State of the Commonwealth and Budget Address to the General Assembly and fellow Kentuckians, outlining his plan to continue getting the state’s financial house in order. “Kentucky has just completed a truly transformative year of achievement, where many important seeds of progress were sown,” said Gov. Bevin. “However, the truth remains that after...

Legislators convene Tuesday to face pensions, budgets, adoption, Marsy’s Law and more

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky lawmakers have a full plate of issues to address when they return to Frankfort to convene the 2018 regular session on Tuesday.   At the top of the list is reforming the state’s eight public pension systems, which have a total unfunded liability of between $33 billion and $84 billion, depending on whose figures you use.  Gov. Matt Bevin, accompanied by legislative...

House adoption group presents sweeping recommendations for foster care, adoption system

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Lawmakers on the House Working Group on Adoption panel approved sweeping recommendations Tuesday on improving Kentucky’s foster care and adoption system. 
The eight-member bi-partisan panel met seven times since its appointment by former House Speaker Jeff Hoover on the last day of the 2017 General Assembly. 
They heard from judges, social workers, those who have gone...

Richard Nelson: Fixing the foster care system critical to improving the lives of Kentucky children

By Richard Nelson Special to KyForward If Hurricane Harvey’s record rainfall doused the fiery political climate, then the images of rescue workers saving children have softened embittered hearts in our politically divisive age. One evocative photo depicts a disaster relief worker slogging through muddied Houston waters carrying an Asian woman who is cradling her infant. Yet as Harvey leaves...

Adoption Assistance founder Erwin tells panel foster care not the answer to protecting children

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The founder of a state-based adoption agency told the Kentucky House Working Group on Adoption Tuesday that legislation requiring hospital social workers to discuss with birth parents about making an adoption plan is essential. Julie Erwin, the founder and executive director of Adoption Assistance, Inc., told the panel that foster care is not the answer to protecting children. “If...

Commentary: Streamlining, improving adoption in Kentucky the goal of new legislative work group

By David Meade Special to KyForward In the 2017 Session of the Kentucky General Assembly, a focus like no other was placed on children and families. In historic fashion, the legislature passed critical legislation to improve foster care placement, protect life, and combat our devastating drug epidemic. And thanks to the leadership of Speaker Jeff Hoover, we will now have the chance to do even more...

Family court judges tell legislative working group that more social workers would speed up adoptions

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Family court judges told a bipartisan working group that adding more social workers and eliminating redundancies would speed up Kentucky’s adoption process and place more abandoned children in permanent homes.

 The judges spoke at the first meeting of the House Working Group on Adoption on in Frankfort.

 Elise Spainhour, Family Court Judge for Bullitt County,...

They always wanted a big family; thanks to Sunrise Children’s Services they grew by three more children

By Brandy Crase Kentucky Today Since the beginning of their marriage 16 years ago, Bryan and Krista Grigg of Kuttawa had always wanted lots of children. Their hopes were fulfilled earlier this month with the adoption of three additional kids through Sunrise Children’s Services, the Kentucky Baptist ministry that, at last count, was serving more than 1,200 abused and neglected children. The Griggs’...

Bevin appoints Dumas to head transformation of state’s adoption and foster care system

Gov. Bevin announced Wednesday the appointment of Daniel S. Dumas to oversee changes in the state’s adoption and foster care system, effective June 19, 2017. Since 2007, Dumas has served as a Senior Vice President at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. He also has prior experience in strategic consulting, leadership coaching, and serving in the United States Navy. Daniel S....

Hoover announces Adoption Work Group charged with overhauling, streamlining process

Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover has unveiled the Adoption Work Group, consisting of eight House members, which will be charged with a sweeping and progressive overhaul of Kentucky’s adoption process. House leaders said earlier this year they had a goal to fix the adoption system in the state, with the end goal of placing every single child in a loving home. Over the years, the adoption process...

First Lady Glenna Bevin, CHFS take steps to make adoption and foster care process easier

Kentucky First Lady Glenna Bevin and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Sec. Vickie Yates Brown Glisson announced a new website aimed at helping families more easily navigate the foster care and adoption process. “We want to make the foster care and adoption process as easy as possible for families,” Bevin said. “Every child deserves a loving home.” The new site at adopt.ky.gov...