A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Increase in Ky’s Adoption Benefit Program aims to ease burden, reduce number of kids in foster care

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Increases to the state Adoption Benefit Program, aimed at lowering the number of children in Kentucky’s foster care system and aiding state employees with the financial costs of adoption, were announced Friday by Gov. Matt Bevin. For the first time, employees will have the option of a stipend and/or reimbursement, based on the needs of the family. State employees who adopt...

Family Scholar House, Passport Health Plan to provide technology for 145 foster care alumni

Dozens of young people who were formerly in foster care will soon have additional tools at their disposal to ensure a successful transition into adulthood, thanks to a new program led by Family Scholar House, a Louisville nonprofit focused on ending the generational cycle of poverty through education. The program, “Passport to Connectivity,” is being launched in partnership with Passport Health...

Churchill Downs donates $25,000 to Orphan Care Alliance serving foster care, adoptive communities

Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) has announced it has committed a $25,000 donation to Orphan Care Alliance (OCA), a nonprofit serving some of Kentucky’s and Southern Indiana’s most vulnerable children and families in the foster care and adoptive communities. First Lady Glenna Bevin joined CDI in Harrodsburg Saturday during the presentation at OCA’s Fall Festival for adoptive and foster families. “Churchill...

David Meade: Legislature maintains commitment to overhaul foster, kinship care programs

Recently, I read an article in the Frankfort State-Journal about a young man, Cameron Galloway. Cameron has lived most of his life in and out of foster care. He has seen firsthand how our state’s foster and child welfare system struggles to meet the needs of the very children it exists to serve. Cameron’s story reads like so many of the more than 10,000 children currently in foster care. Since...

Casey Foundation 10-year data snapshot shows KY making progress but still lags on foster care

Though the data show stagnant progress from 2007 to 2017, Kentucky has recently demonstrated its commitment to prioritizing family-based placements for children in foster care, according to “Keeping Kids in Families: Trends in U.S. Foster Care Placement,” a new data snapshot released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT project. In 2017, Kentucky had 81 percent of children in...

New report finds majority of Kentucky’s more than 8,000 foster children are being placed with families

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service More Kentucky children in foster care are being placed with families, according to a new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. More than 8,000 children in Kentucky are in foster care, and about 81% live with relatives or in a family setting, compared with an 86% family placement rate nationally. The findings show Kentucky is in line with other states in working...

Eric Clark: Child welfare transformation will improve the lives of Kentucky’s children and families

It is a staggering, record-high number in Kentucky: 10,000 kids in foster care. Here is another number: 800. That’s how many adults gathered in early January for the inaugural Transformers of Child Welfare Summit. These were social workers, judges, educators, government officials, faith-based community leaders, parents, relatives and others. They are all committed to improve our child welfare system...

State workers, county attorneys collect more than a thousand coats and hoodies for foster kids

Kentucky state employees and county attorneys have collected more than 1,000 coats and hoodies for children as part of a charity drive this holiday season. In a collection drive coordinated by staff at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ (CHFS) Division for Income Support (DIS) and the Kentucky County Attorneys Association (KCAA), 1,085 coats and hoodies were collected. The coats are for...

National Adoption Month: Focus is on adoption of the 9,800 KY children who need permanent, loving homes

By Tina Agonva Kentucky Youth Advocates Every child needs a family. We know that children succeed when they are with caring adults who can help guide them as they grow. The Commonwealth has over 9,800 children living with foster families or in group homes as a result of abuse, neglect, or dependency. The goal in Kentucky is to reunify children in foster care with their parents, and, when that cannot...

Gov. and First Lady honor families across the Commonwealth as adoptive, foster parents

Governor Matt Bevin, First Lady Glenna Bevin, and Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) officials recently honored several families from across the Commonwealth for their service as adoptive and foster parents to some of the state’s most vulnerable children. “We are determined to make Kentucky the gold standard — to make this truly as fine a place to be a foster child as anywhere in America,”...

Volunteers needed in 24 Kentucky counties to review cases of children in foster care

Citizen Foster Care Review Boards in 24 Kentucky counties are seeking volunteers to make a difference in the lives of local children in foster care and other out-of-home care. The boards need volunteers to review cases of children placed in care because of dependency, neglect or abuse, to ensure they are placed in safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible. The counties in need of volunteers are...

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...

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...

2018 legislature: Big winners — children in foster care, crime victims; the rest — losers and questions

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The 2018 General Assembly is now history and while there are some obvious winners and losers, there are two other categories to consider: “both” or “too soon to tell.” Children in foster care, or awaiting adoption, is one area that is an obvious winner. A bipartisan working group named on the final day of the 2017 session by then-Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown,...

State providing financial assistance to family foster caregivers; here’s how to check eligibility

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is allocating additional resources to determine eligibility of financial assistance payments to certain relative and fictive kin caregivers with children placed in their home by CHFS.  An October 2017 federal court ruling by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in the case D.O. v. Glisson requires that Kentucky must pay relatives who serve as foster...

Glenna Bevin: We must fund programs to strengthen families, provide loving homes for children

The well-being of children in our state is of paramount importance to me. As I have said since my husband and I were first entrusted to serve the Commonwealth, our hearts are with Kentucky families. That’s why I am so passionate about my initiatives to improve conditions for children in foster care and to make the adoption process easier and more affordable. We have made strides in both areas. Our...

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...

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...

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...