LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The overturning of Roe v. Wade is expected to impact several government systems, including foster care.
"We anticipate there will be a lot more adoptive homes and children being put in the system, " said James Estes, a certified therapist and Assistant Treatment Director of Specialized Alternatives for Family Youth (SAFY).
The agency provides private specialized services for foster kids.
The Kentucky branches help around 200 kids, but Estes worries that number could increase after the supreme court's ruling.
"I feel like they could be creating more demand on an already strained system."
SAFY, like many other agencies, receives funding from the state.
Though officials do not expect to see a spike in numbers for a few years, they are preparing for an expected increase.
"It may take a while, but we do have concerns that we will see an increase in foster care over the next several years," said Eric Friedlander, secretary for the Cabinet of Health and Family Services.
There are over 400,000 kids in foster care in the United States, with 9,000 coming from Kentucky.
Friedlander said the department of community-based services expects to receive around 1.9 billion dollars in state funding by 2023. But he suspects they will have to request more when the budget resets in 2024.
"I think we are going to see the impacts long term, but it's hard to predict at this point," said Friedlander.