Kentucky’s New Child Welfare Czar Out Halfway Through Contract

Last summer, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) made some waves when he brought in Dan Dumas, senior vice president at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, to serve as a child welfare czar for the state. Dumas had no child welfare management experience, and was slated to earn $240,000 plus potential incentives.

But just seven months after assuming his post, Dumas is out. The Courier-Journal is reporting that Dumas’ contract has been terminated, and neither the Bevin administration or Dumas had any comment about why.

Dumas entered the position in mid-June of 2017, and was tasked with helping to make Kentucky the gold standard for foster care and adoption. He reported directly to Bevin, who has four adopted children.

Dan Dumas joined the Bevin administration as child welfare czar in June, but left with months left on his initial $240,000 contract.

“I am resolved to make our adoption and foster care system faster, safer, more affordable and more accessible,” Dumas told the Lexington Herald-Leader at the time. “Gov. Bevin and I are committed, along with many other Kentuckians, to not back down until every orphan in Kentucky has a loving home.”

One part of that puzzle is ensuring that the state had enough foster homes to take in children removed from home who could not be taken in by relatives. Kentucky’s foster care capacity did increase by nearly 1,500 beds between 2012 and 2017, according to research by The Chronicle of Social Change for our report, “The Foster Care Housing Crisis.” But the total number of youth in care also increased during that time: from about 7,000 to just over 8,500.
Kentucky officials told The Chronicle that private providers had recently taken a greater role in recruiting homes. Bevin also launched the “Open Hearts/Open Homes” initiative, a faith-based effort to bolster the number of adoptive homes in the state.
The state’s Democratic party called out Dumas’ quiet exit on its Twitter account.
“Kentuckians paid Bevin’s friend $20k per month and ended up with nothing in return,” said the tweet. “Another money loss under the current administration.”
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John Kelly, Editor in Chief, The Chronicle of Social Change
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John Kelly is editor-in-chief of The Chronicle of Social Change. Reach him at