House Bill 1 takes effect—overhauling Foster Care and Adoption in Kentucky
More than 9,500 children in Kentucky’s foster care and adoption system will be better served, thanks to the successful passage of Kentucky House Bill 1, which took effect July 14, 2018. “The key now is execution,” says Beau Necco, Founder and CEO of Necco, who discussed the bill with Mario Anderson on the public affairs program In Focus Kentucky last month.
Necco acknowledged the work of Governor Matt Bevin, First Lady Glenna Bevin, sponsor Rep. David Meade (R) and co-sponsor Rep. Joni Jenkins (D), as well as Senator Whitney Westerfield (R) who gathered input from advocates and stakeholders on practical changes to improve Kentucky’s foster care and adoption system. Necco was among one the private foster care companies consulted on how improvements could be made.
“I’ve been involved in four administrations in Kentucky and I’ve never seen this type of laser-focused, non-partisan effort. The end result is really the best of government,” Necco said.
HB1 gets children to a safe place, faster
Prior to the passage of HB1, there were a lot of unnecessary roadblocks stalling the approval of potential foster parents and subsequently, the placement of children. For example, prior to HB1, fingerprints would take two to three months to get back, leading to added frustration for prospective foster parents who often would just quit. Fingerprints will soon be returned at a fraction of the time, minimizing the wait and cost to the taxpayer.
HB1 incentivizes and rewards positive outcomes
The new legislation also introduces performance-based contracting. This is a mechanism that measures the successful outcomes of children placed in the state’s care and rewards private providers based on those outcomes. Encouraging providers to focus on the success of the child incentivizes them to make decisions that will further ensure a safe and protected placement with the highest likelihood of permanency. Kentucky hopes to implement these standards by July 2019.
“Our kids deserve the very best they can get. This legislation is a win for the child, a win for taxpayers, and a win for Kentucky,” Necco added.
Since 1997, Necco has facilitated more than 5,000 adoptions and built over 25,000 families in the four states it serves – Kentucky, Georgia, West Virginia and Ohio. If you’d like to help build a family for a child in need, let Necco show you how simple it can be.