- Save the Dates! for the upcoming Through the Eyes of the Child Regional Conferences!
- Several reports have been issued recently addressing Nebraska juvenile system reform, including:
- Nebraska Children's Commission Phase I Strategic Plan for Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Reform
- An Assessment of Child Welfare Services in Nebraska conducted pursuant to LB1160 of the 2012 LR 37 Child Welfare bills, which required an evaluation of privatization efforts addressing the degree to which privatization in the Omaha area has been successful and cost effective, the readiness of the lead agency or DHHS, and the usage, costs and outcomes of residential placements. Read an article about the report.
- Nebraska Cross-Systems Analysis: Final Report conducted pursuant to LB 821 of the 2012 LR 37 Child Welfare bills, which required a cross-systems analysis of current prevention and intervention programs and services for children provided by DHHS, and specifically to:
- identify state general funds being used;
- identify resources that could be better allocated to provide more effective services to at-risk children transitioning to home-based and school-based interventions; and
- provide information about replacing state general funds with federal funds
- The 2012 Annual Report by the Foster Care Review Office
- Right-Sizing the Nebraska Juvenile Justice System by the Platte Institute
- Strategic Recommendations for Changing Nebraska's Child Welfare System by the Progressive Research Institute of Nebraska
- Bridging the Gap: Supporting Youth in the Transition from Foster Care to Adulthood by Nebraska Appleseed
- Recorded video sessions and Team Reports (click here) from the 2012 Nebraska Children's Summit sessions are now available online. If you have questions about CLE and advanced GAL training credit, please contact the MCLE office at 402-471-3137 or click here. You may also download the Summit Spiral Binder here (printable PDF)
- Studies of Representation of Children and Youth in Nebraska Pursuant to LB 961 (2008), a study of Nebraska's guardian ad litem practices, was undertaken by the National Association of Counsel for Children (Denver, CO), and a study of Nebraska's juvenile indigent defense system in delinquency cases was undertaken by the National Juvenile Defender Center (Washington, DC). Read the GAL report. Read the juvenile defense report.
A Letter From the Chief Justice
Dear Nebraska Children's Summit Attendees:
On behalf of the Nebraska Supreme Court and the Through the Eyes of the Child Initiative, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to you for taking time away from your busy schedules to attend the Nebraska Children's Summit. The number of people attending the Summit was impressive and indicative of the widespread concern about the well-being of children in our system. Nebraska courts feel privileged to be one of the leaders in these efforts.
As a reminder, the new priorities selected at the Children's Summit are:
- Improve service delivery to the family - frontloaded, targeted to the issues and effective;
- Improve our response to older youth in care;
- Expedite quality evaluations and targeted treatment for substance-abusing parents.
|Jun 19th||11th District - Team 1 (Dawson County) team meeting|
|Jun 21st||7th District team meeting|
|Jun 25th||8th District - Team 3 (Broken Bow) Team Meeting|
|Jun 25th||North Platte Team Meeting|
|Jun 26th||Omaha (4th District) Team Meeting|
- Improve service delivery to the family - frontloaded, targeted to the issues and effective
- Improve our response to older youth in care
- Expedite quality evaluations and targeted treatment for substance-abusing parents
Should a Parent Whose Rights Have Been Terminated be Given a Second Chance?
By Judith A. Wells, the Law of Judith A. Wells, PC, LLO.
In August of 2012, I had the opportunity to attend the 2012 National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) conference held in Chicago, IL. There was a wealth of knowledge and experience at this conference and I was able to participate many great sessions.
One session that had an impact on me was presented by Meredith L. Schalick, Clinical Associate Professor at Rutgers School of Law. Her presentation dealt with the restoration of a parent’s rights following termination. To learn that several states have already enacted laws that allow for the restoration of parental rights was very encouraging to me. It sounded wonderful and I was motivated to return to my jurisdiction to see what could be done to get input from professionals in the area and to try to get a similar law passed here.
The Hastings Team - Establishing the Maryland Living Center
In 2012, the Hastings team of the Through the Eyes of the Child Initiative partnered with other community organizations to secure funding for the development and operation of a living center for older runaway and homeless youth. At the 2012 Children’s Summit, statewide team members honored the project by voting it Project with the Most Impact. Below is a Q & A with Project Coordinator Lauren Slaughter about the Maryland Living Center (MLC).
Latest Caselaw Updates
In re Interest of Rylee S.
Filed on April 25, 2013 Not designated for permanent publication, S-12-531 SUMMARY: The juvenile court ordering of the mother to complete a pre-treatment assessment and authorizing the release of her mental health records to DHHS were not reasonable because there is no showing of any need for parental rehabilitation where the adjudication of no fault was based [...]
In re Interest of Neveah M.
Not designated for permanent publication; A-12-0373 Filed April 24, 2013 SUMMARY: Evidence was sufficient to support a termination of a mother’s parental rights when the mother sexually assaulted a young girl and suffered from mental disabilities. The juvenile court did not err by excluding expert testimony of psychosexual development of teenage girls and of the mother’s personal [...]
In re Interest of Ashe G.
Not designated for permanent publication; A-12-748 Filed April 23, 2013 SUMMARY: Evidence that the mother was diagnosed with mild mental retardation, her condition was unlikely to improve, and the child had special needs was sufficient to support a termination of the mother’s parental rights, despite evidence that the mother loved the child. Ashe (DOB 1/2003) was [...]
In re Interest of Kaira H.
Not designated for permanent publication; A-12-375 Filed April 9, 2013 SUMMARY: Termination of parental rights was proper when the father took over a year to establish paternity, did not participate in offered services, and was incarcerated for most of the child’s life. In April, 2009, Kaira (DOB 1/2009) was removed from her mother’s home following her [...]
In re Interest of Adlai S.
Not designated for permanent publication; No. A-12-762 Filed April 9, 2013 SUMMARY: Evidence was sufficient to support a father’s termination of parental rights when the father was incarcerated for all of the child’s life and had made no progress toward reunification. Kelly, father of Adlai (DOB 7/2007), was incarcerated for robbery and use of a weapon to commit [...]