Lawmakers Advance Bill To Fine-Tune Foster Care Overhaul

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky lawmakers are one step away from finishing work on a bill to fine-tune last year’s overhaul of the state’s child welfare system. The measure was advanced Monday by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee.

The House-passed bill goes to the Senate. If it passes intact there, it would go to Gov. Matt Bevin. The lead sponsor is Republican House Speaker Pro Tem David Meade.  The bill would extend recertification periods for foster parents. Meade says foster parents now have to recertify every year. His bill would require recertification every three years.

House Bill 446 says the state can petition a court for termination of parental rights if a child has been removed from a home three or more times within 24 months.  It seeks to speed adoptions by having lists of relatives available at the start of the process.