State Representatives Joni Jenkins of Shively and Angie Hatton of Whitesburg will serve on the General Assembly’s new Child Welfare and Oversight Committee, House Democratic Leader Rocky Adkins announced today.
The statutory committee was formed with this year’s passage of House Bill 1, which streamlines and improves the laws governing adoption and foster care in Kentucky. It was based on the recommendations of a bipartisan House task force that spent much of last year focused on the issue.
“Joni and Angie are natural choices to serve, given their professional and personal backgrounds,” Leader Adkins said. “Joni did an outstanding job co-chairing the House task force that wrote much of House Bill 1 and has compiled a long list of legislative accomplishments improving the lives of children, while Angie worked as assistant county attorney in Letcher County. Her responsibilities included removing abused or neglected children and finding them homes in foster care or with extended family. In her private practice, she has been involved in numerous adoption cases, and she has also been a member of two site-based decision-making councils. On top of this, there aren’t two members in the General Assembly who care more than they do about Kentucky’s children.”
“I’m proud to serve on this new statutory committee and look forward to working with my colleagues in the months ahead as we find even more ways to make the state more responsive to the needs of our children, especially those facing considerable obstacles,” Rep. Jenkins said.
Rep. Hatton added: “House Bill 1 is a major step in the right direction, but this is an ongoing journey, because there is always a better way to do things. I’m grateful for this opportunity and hope we can make a true difference in the lives of our youngest generation.”
According to House Bill 1, the committee will review and analyze child-welfare issues in Kentucky, which will include foster care, adoption, child abuse, neglect and dependency. It will receive ongoing reports from state agencies with oversight in those areas, and this will include such other issues as the possible privatization of foster-care services, efforts to reduce childhood fatalities and access to quality and affordable childcare.