FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky officials say they will pay $14.3 million to the caregivers of more than 1,500 children in state custody to comply with a federal court ruling mandating the state pay family members and close friends in the same manner as licensed foster parents.
The payments will begin later this month to about 15 caregivers. But officials with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services say they expect the ruling to impact 1,590 children in the fiscal year that begins July 1 and ends June 30, 2019. The following fiscal year, state officials say they expect the ruling to impact 1,700 children and cost about $15.3 million.
Kentucky's has about 8,500 children in state custody, a record number state officials say is climbing in part because of the opioid epidemic.