Voices for Children in Nebraska educates and motivates Nebraskans to take action to better the lives of Nebraska’s vulnerable children in the areas of Health, Education, Safety and Economic Stability.
Why Voices for Children in Nebraska?
Victories for children don’t just happen by accident. Voices for Children in Nebraska has played a major role in changing policies through skilled advocacy, serving as a constant voice for children wherever decisions are made. Voices for Children does this through research, awareness, and advocacy.
By advocating for changes in public policy and investment in effective programs, Voices for Children in Nebraska has been improving the lives of Nebraska’s children since 1987. Some examples of our successful advocacy include:
- Kids Connection, created in 1999, provides access to health care for nearly one-third of Nebraska’s children. Over 8,000 more children are expected to be added in the coming years due to an expansion in 2009.
- The State Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) created in 2006 and increased in 2008. This refundable tax credit helps 115,000 low-income families by putting more of their paycheck back in their pockets and $22 million back into the local economy every year.
- The School Breakfast Program, expanded in 2007, serves 30,000 children a nutritious breakfast before school, helping them focus on what they are learning, not their hunger.
- Record numbers of children finding permanent homes through adoption and subsidized guardianships. In 2003, 274 state wards were adopted; by 2008, that number had doubled to 572
- Creation of the Nebraska Parenting Act provides parenting education and mediation for divorcing parents, ensuring that the safety and best interests of children are carefully considered when custody decisions are made, helping the more than 6,000 Nebraska children who are involved in divorce and custody proceedings every year.
- The creation of the Office of Juvenile Services, improving conditions for the over 3,000 youth confined at state-run facilities providing mental health and addiction services and youth detention facilities. The advocacy of Voices for Children has also established programming that provides prevention, diversion, and intervention programs, keeping youth out of jail while keeping our communities safe.
- Stronger ties built between staff working in the domestic violence and child abuse fields, connecting the two disciplines and better addressing the needs of the 4,500 Nebraska children who witness domestic violence each year.