HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – Governor Andy Beshear announced his administration is providing $41.5 million to support the state’s foster children and those who provide them care.

Governor Beshear says, “Due to concerted efforts by our administration, Kentucky is experiencing a significant drop in children in foster care, and I am proud that we can provide additional funds to help support the children who remain in our care.”

The press release says the funds will start being distributed this month to the 45 providers and their 120-plus foster care agencies to help them provide critical care to foster children across the state. Officials say the additional funds are a result of cost savings the state has achieved by reducing the number of children in foster care to less than 8,500, after peaking in 2020 at over 10,000 children, and through funding appropriated through the state budget.

Officials say Beshear’s administration looked to increase these providers’ rates following the start of a study of the providers’ costs and needs. Officials say they found that many providers are struggling to meet the cost of care, and several have closed recently.

Beshear’s office says the leaders of three providers attended Beshear’s announcement of the new funding on Thursday to represent the 45 providers and to ceremonially accept a check for $21.5 million.