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Nebraska group looks for transformational change to child welfare system

Nebraska group looks for transformational change to child welfare system
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Group seeks transformational change to child welfare system  KETV Omaha

A Task Force to Transform Nebraska’s Child Welfare System

A new task force has been established in Nebraska with the aim of transforming the state’s child welfare system. This initiative was brought about by a state law passed in 2022, which led to the creation of a group comprising representatives from all three branches of government and key stakeholders. The primary mission of this task force is to “reimagine” child and family well-being within the state.

Listening to Stakeholders

The Stephen Group, a national organization, has been hired by the workgroup to conduct listening sessions with stakeholders across the state. These sessions provide an opportunity for providers, foster homes, and individuals with lived experience to share their perspectives and contribute to the reimagining process. Monika Gross, the executive director of the Foster Care Review Office, emphasized the importance of revisiting how child welfare and family well-being are addressed in Nebraska, particularly in light of recent changes in case management and leadership within the Department of Human Services.

Themes Identified by the Task Force

  1. Lack of mental health and substance abuse services, especially in rural areas.
  2. Need for a community-based prevention system.
  3. Building trust among all system players.
  4. Involving families in the co-creation of plans of care.
  5. Valuing lived experience.
  6. Enhancing support for social determinants of health, such as housing, transportation, and food.
  7. Involving schools in system re-design.
  8. Implementing technology enhancements to support caseworkers and interagency partners/providers.
  9. Addressing placement challenges, especially for high-needs and older youth.
  10. Promoting shared accountability.
  11. Enhancing foster parent capacity.
  12. Providing structured and routine training for school system administrators, educators, and mandatory reporters on alternative reporting/referral options.
  13. Prioritizing focus on outcomes rather than outputs.
  14. Addressing cultural and language gaps that adversely impact family support.
  15. Investing in culturally appropriate and regionally equitable systems and services, including bilingual services in rural areas.
  16. Encouraging broader community support, resources, and involvement for high-risk and special education children, as well as biological and foster families. Aligning intra-agency resources.
  17. Improving workforce stability, diversity, recruitment, support, and professional development.
  18. Promoting family preservation whenever safe to do so.
  19. Ensuring poverty and lack of resources are not grounds for removal.
  20. Defining key data and performance metrics across all systems to drive innovation and change.
  21. Developing local prevention pathways to divert hotline calls, including the establishment of a referral structure and additional resources.
  22. Improving coordination between tribal Child and Family agencies and the institutional system to better serve tribal children.
  23. Reforming abuse/neglect reporting standards to avoid unnecessary involvement of families in the system over minor issues.

Focusing on Outcomes for Children

The task force recognizes the need for improved training and retention of caseworkers, as well as the importance of prevention in the child welfare system. Efforts are being made to shift the perception of receiving supportive services and reduce the fear associated with involvement from the Department of Health and Human Services. The task force aims to ensure that families receive the necessary support within their communities, allowing them to eventually exit the child welfare system.

Nebraska has an opportunity to leverage federal funding more effectively for its child welfare system. By maximizing available funding and promoting collaboration among organizations, the state can achieve better outcomes for children. The task force’s work will culminate in a comprehensive report, which will serve as a vision and roadmap for the future of Nebraska’s child welfare system.

Community ownership and legislative support will be crucial in implementing the recommended changes and expanding eligibility for services to more families. The task force will continue to review feedback from stakeholders and develop a draft report for further review. The final report is expected to be completed by December 1st and presented to state lawmakers.

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SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?

  • SDG 1: No Poverty
  • SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4: Quality Education
  • SDG 5: Gender Equality
  • SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?

  • Target 1.3: Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable.
  • Target 3.5: Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol.
  • Target 4.2: By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care, and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education.
  • Target 5.1: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.
  • Target 8.5: By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value.
  • Target 10.2: By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, or economic or other status.
  • Target 11.3: By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated, and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries.
  • Target 16.3: Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all.

3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?

  • Indicator 1.3.1: Proportion of population covered by social protection floors/systems, by sex, distinguishing children, unemployed persons, older persons, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, newborns, work-injury victims, and the poor and vulnerable.
  • Indicator 3.5.1: Coverage of treatment interventions (pharmacological, psychosocial, and rehabilitation and aftercare services) for substance use disorders.
  • Indicator 4.2.1: Proportion of children under 5 years of age who are developmentally on track in health, learning, and psychosocial well-being, by sex.
  • Indicator 5.1.1: Whether or not legal frameworks are in place to promote, enforce, and monitor equality and non-discrimination on the basis of sex.
  • Indicator 8.5.1: Average hourly earnings of female and male employees, by occupation, age group, and persons with disabilities.
  • Indicator 10.2.1: Proportion of people living below 50 percent of median income, by age, sex, and persons with disabilities.
  • Indicator 11.3.1: Ratio of land consumption rate to population growth rate.
  • Indicator 16.3.3: Proportion of victims of violence in the previous 12 months who reported their victimization to competent authorities or other officially recognized mechanisms.

Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 1: No Poverty Target 1.3: Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable. Indicator 1.3.1: Proportion of population covered by social protection floors/systems, by sex, distinguishing children, unemployed persons, older persons, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, newborns, work-injury victims, and the poor and vulnerable.
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being Target 3.5: Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol. Indicator 3.5.1: Coverage of treatment interventions (pharmacological, psychosocial, and rehabilitation and aftercare services) for substance use disorders.
SDG 4: Quality Education Target 4.2: By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care, and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education. Indicator 4.2.1: Proportion of children under 5 years of age who are developmentally on track in health, learning, and psychosocial well-being, by sex.
SDG 5: Gender Equality Target 5.1: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere. Indicator 5.1.1: Whether or not legal frameworks are in place to promote, enforce, and monitor equality and non-discrimination on the basis of sex.
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth Target 8.5: By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value. Indicator 8.5.1: Average hourly earnings of female and male employees, by occupation, age group, and persons with disabilities.
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities Target 10.2: By 203

Behold! This splendid article springs forth from the wellspring of knowledge, shaped by a wondrous proprietary AI technology that delved into a vast ocean of data, illuminating the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Remember that all rights are reserved by SDG Investors LLC, empowering us to champion progress together.

Source: ketv.com

 

Nebraska group looks for transformational change to child welfare system

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