Kinship Care Families in Kentucky Receive Game-Changing Legislation

Financial assistance is on the way for kinship care families in Kentucky who are raising minor relatives like grandchildren or nieces. The House unanimously approved a bill, bringing much-needed support to these caregivers.

The approved “Senate Bill 151” now awaits Governor Andy Beshear’s decision for signing. Earlier in February, the Senate also backed the bill unanimously.

Norma Hatfield, the president of the Kinship Families Coalition of Kentucky, expressed her delight at the bill’s passage, calling it a game-changer for many families ahead.

The bill allows kinship caregivers to transition from temporary custody to child-specific foster homes, accompanied by financial aid, as reported by the Lantern.

Furthermore, children who are removed from homes can now suggest their preferred caregivers, granting them a greater say in their placements.

Representative Samara Heavrin, the bill’s proponent in the House, emphasized that the legislation aims to provide more flexibility to kinship care families in Kentucky.

Hatfield, a staunch advocate for kinship families, was overwhelmed by emotions as the bill passed, reflecting on its significance for the community.

Terry Brooks, the Executive Director of Kentucky Youth Advocates, hailed the final passage of HB 151 as a victory for thousands of kinship and fictive kin families in the state.

Despite this progress, Hatfield stressed the need for ongoing work, monitoring a House resolution that could establish a Kinship Care task force to address the needs of caregivers.

The proposed study aims to identify requirements, educate lawmakers and the public, and pave the way for enhanced support systems for these families facing challenges.

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