It wasn’t too long ago that newspapers across our state were full of bad news about Nebraska’s child welfare system and reform efforts. The front pages were full of tales of constant turmoil, transition, fiscal mismanagement, and few improvements in how kids and families were actually faring.
If you’ve been reading the paper in the past few weeks, the stories being told about Nebraska’s child welfare system today couldn’t be more different. For the first time in quite awhile, our media is full of stories about child welfare reform making progress. Data-packed articles and editorials in the World-Herald and Journal Star, have praised the decreasing number of state wards in Nebraska, better casework, and a Department of Health and Human Services working diligently and implementing new practices to keep kids and families safe.
But what does all of this attention on positive trends and information really tell us about how our child welfare system is changing? About how Nebraska’s vulnerable kids and families are doing? Most importantly, what does it tell us about where our state still needs to go?
Over the next few weeks, our staff at Voices for Children will be digging into the numbers and research to better tell the whole story of what’s happening for kids and families and the work that still remains to be done.
There are some very positive trends we’ll be highlighting, there are big systems changes that we’ll begin to explore, and there are plenty of areas where we still need to make progress for kids that we’ll dive into.
Over the past few years, Nebraska has been committed to making progress for kids and families in our child welfare system. Leadership is paying off and if we maintain our commitment, we truly can build a state that ensures families are strong and all our kids are safe and have the ability to reach their full potential.
We hope that you will keep up with this closer look at child welfare on our blog and share your own thoughts and opinions on our analysis and vision of where we still need to make improvements.