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Archive for 2011

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Heineman, lawmakers at odds over welfare

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011
Gov. Dave Heineman voiced concerns Tuesday that recommendations to mend the state's troubled effort to privatize child welfare services will cost too much and add more bureaucracy. “I don't think I've been a governor who's suggested we need more bureaucracy and more cost. We're trying to make government leaner,? Heineman said in a conference call with reporters. But two state senators who helped craft the recommendations said that while additional spending might be required, the current system isn't meeting the needs of abused and neglected children under state care and that it is already costing more tax dollars. “As it stands right now, the executive branch has run amok by allowing HHS to throw money at a problem. It's not working,? said Omaha Sen. Bob Krist, a member of the Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee. Lincoln Sen. Kathy Campbell, the committee chairwoman, added that one recommendation, to create a new Department of Children's Services within the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, would consolidate many state workers who now deal with troubled kids and families but operate in separate “silos.? “If you brought those people together in one agency, you can really focus on the problems and focus on stability for the future,? Campbell said. The exchange, in separate interviews, came after the governor made his first public comments on the recommendations by lawmakers at the conclusion of a months-long study of the troubled privatization effort. [...]
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In re Interest of David M.

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Filed on December 20, 2011
19 Neb. App. 399, ____ N.W.2d ____
SUMMARY: An award of GAL attorney’s fees for work performed after the State filed a motion to dismiss prior to adjudication was improper as the GAL lacked the authority to reinitiate the case through a new petition. 
David, DOB 6/97, Miguel, DOB 9/01, Edwin, 1/05, and [...]

In re Interest of Marcos S.A. and Andres S.

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Filed on December 20, 2011
19 Neb. App. 426, ____ N.W.2d ____
SUMMARY: An impromptu ruling granting custody of the children to the mother based in part because father would be incarcerated until at least 2013 did not satisfy statutory requirements for notice and opportunity to be heard. 
Marcos Jr., DOB 12/06, was removed from the home of [...]

Report: Reverse child welfare privatization

Friday, December 16th, 2011
Saying Nebraska is failing in its responsibilities to children, a panel of state lawmakers called Thursday for pulling back on the controversial privatization of child welfare services. In the final report from a months-long investigation, the Health and Human Services Committee proposed sweeping changes aimed at creating better outcomes for children and better financial oversight for the state. The report could mark the beginning of the end for Nebraska's two-year-old experiment in turning over to private contractors the bulk of duties for ensuring the safety and well-being of abused and neglected children in the state. But it also sets up a potential conflict between lawmakers and Gov. Dave Heineman, who has resisted previous calls to slow or halt his administration's privatization effort. The governor had no immediate comments about the proposals. Jen Rae Hein, his spokeswoman, said he had not seen the inch-thick report yet. [...]
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In re Interest of Kenyetta C.

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Filed on November 29, 2011
Not designated for permanent publication, A-11-356
SUMMARY: A preponderance of the evidence established that keeping the newborn with the mother in a prison nursery is contrary to the child’s welfare based on the mother’s past criminal and child welfare history. 
Kenyetta, DOB 3/11, was removed from the mother, Crystalynn, immediately after birth after [...]

Giving a Life to Gain a Life: National Adoption Day

Monday, November 21st, 2011
There are 107,000 children currently in Foster Care waiting for forever homes, one in five will never find a family, never know adoption or know what it's like to call someone mom. In Kearney, on Saturday, as celebrations for eight families coincided with national celebrations, more children waited for the moment to be called part of a family. "Mommy and daddy adopt us," said one little girl of her aunt and uncle, now mom and dad. A fairy tale, a happily ever after, a story that starts with a forever family. "A lot of people really do say that we've done such a great thing and I just see that we've kept them together," said Jessica Smith. It was a family of three brothers and sisters, and an aunt and uncle who made a life changing decision. "They were my nieces and nephews and we took all three of them in a couple years ago and then when they're parents signed over their rights we adopted them in September," she said. The Smith's story is one of thousands that take place every year and get celebrated on National Adoption Day. "It's a day of celebration for families that have endured an often long and complicated process and come out the back door of the court in the most positive way," said an Adoption Judge. [...]
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Home, at last, for 52 kids

Saturday, November 19th, 2011
kires Medina wants his balloon back. But before the judge will return the 4-year-old's white helium sword, there are more pressing matters. Like finalizing the adoption of Akires and his three siblings. The Medinas -- Akires, Alexa, Ki Ki and Zach -- were among 52 children adopted Saturday morning in Lincoln as part of National Adoption Day. The two brothers and two sisters, ages 4 to 7, sat in a row in Judge Roger Heideman's Lancaster County juvenile courtroom. The boys donned matching white polos, the girls identical red dresses. Read more: [...]
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In re Interest of DeNasjha P.

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Nebraska Court of Appeals

In re Interest of Onyashy A.

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Nebraska Court of Appeals

In re Interest of LaKeiara J.

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Filed on November 15, 2011
Not designated for permanent publication, A-11-159
SUMMARY: Termination of parental rights was proper where the father had little contact with the child, would be incarcerated past her age of majority, and has a history of drug use and law violations, and where the child had substantial health needs that the father cannot [...]