Beshear signs legislation to address child abuse in Kentucky
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - More laws are going into place to protect children in Kentucky. The laws are set to increase penalties for child abusers and to help the youngest victims.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear was joined by several other lawmakers and child advocates on Wednesday for the ceremonial signing of Senate Bill 8 and House Bill 263.
Both newly enacted laws will improve efforts across the child welfare continuum, from child maltreatment prevention to investigation and prosecution to healing and out-of-home care.
Senate Bill 8, sponsored by Senator Julie Raque Adams (R-Louisville), establishes new membership of the State Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board, broadens the definition of fictive kin, expands Medicaid reimbursement eligibility for professionals who provide critical services at Children’s Advocacy Centers, and expands opportunities for youth aging out of foster care to extend care.
The legislation also clarifies neglect versus poverty by defining neglect as a parent or guardian not providing a child adequate care, supervision, and basic needs when they are financially able to do so.
House Bill 263, sponsored by Speaker of the House David Osborne (R-Oldham Co.) and Representative C. Ed Massey (R-Boone Co.), increases penalties for perpetrators if the victim of criminal abuse is under 12 years of age.
The bill is known as Kami’s Law, created and advocated for by 7th grader Kiera Dunk in honor of her friend, Kami, who suffers lifelong challenges due to abuse she suffered as an infant.
Copyright 2022 WAVE. All rights reserved.