May 2019 Foster Care Special Edition

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ENVISION EQUITY MAY 2019

Foster youth Bill of Rights

By Joshua Degnan, President —Voices of the Commonwealth


A child who is placed

in foster care shall be

considered a primary

partner and a member of

a professional team. A

foster child, as the most

integral part of the

professional team, shall

have the following rights”

Foster Youth Bill of Rights;

KY House Bill 158. This statement is profoundly important to any youth who finds

themselves in foster care because it shows hope and that times are changing. On March 19 th

of 2019 Governor Bevin signed House Bill 158 into law. This Bill covered a substantial

number of topics that affect youth who enter into the state’s system such as background

checks for caretakers, parental rights, and a bill of rights for foster youth. It is the latter of

these topics that myself as well as a number of other youth from across the state rallied

behind and advocated for because we knew the momentum that it would carry.

I have had the privilege of traveling across the county and talking to young people who have

gone through foster care. Their stories of trial and triumph are as diverse as they are but one

common theme tends to arise; feeling powerless and having no control over their lives while

under the care of the state. I myself experienced this as I went through my years in care and

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