Norma Hatfield (right) and Sen. Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville, presented the kinship care bill in committee, Feb. 6, 2023. (Screenshot)
FRANKFORT — A bill aimed at giving more financial help to “kinship care” Kentuckians who are raising a minor relative — such as a grandchild or niece — passed unanimously out of the Senate on Thursday.
Senate Bill 151 would allow kinship caregivers to change their placement status from temporary custody to a child-specific foster home, a change that would come with financial assistance, the Lantern previously reported.
It would also let children who must be removed from their homes list potential caregivers that could influence their placement, which would open up options for the child.
Sen. Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville, said “this flexibility will close the services supports and resources gap that is currently plaguing many of our Kentucky families.”
Among those lawmakers who spoke on the floor in support of the bill, Sen. Stephen Meredith, R-Leitchfield, said it would be “unconscionable” for the legislature “not to provide them the resources they so justly deserve.”
Many people in this situation, he said, “are at the point in life where they think they’re going to take life a little bit easier when suddenly the responsibility for grandchildren (is) thrust upon them.”
“This is a good bill. It’ll help children, it’ll help grandparents,” he said. “It’ll help our commonwealth.”
This bill can now go to the House for consideration.
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