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At the legislature: Testimony on LB 112

Voices for Children testified before the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee today on LB 112 regarding transport of children in the care of the lead agencies.

“Re: Support for LB 112
Allowing Child Welfare Caseworkers to Transport Clients

Voices for Children in Nebraska supports LB 112, which allows
caseworkers for child welfare lead agencies and their subcontractors to
transport the children they serve, by excluding transportation related to
social services from Public Service Commission (PSC) regulations.
Lead agencies and their subcontractors serve some Nebraska’s most
vulnerable children: those at risk for abuse or neglect; those who have
been removed from their home for those reasons; and those who are
involved with the Office of Juvenile Services (OJS). Many of these
children have a hard time establishing trusting, cooperative
relationships with adults.

Preventing a caseworker from personally transporting the child or
youth with whom they work, is harmful on a number of levels. First, it
reduces valuable time for the caseworker to establish a trusting
relationship with the child. Children are also often more likely to open
up and share in an informal setting, such as a car, than they would in an
office environment. Time in the car to help children process important
events, such as visits with birth families or therapy appointments, is
deeply important.

Additionally, using a transport service rather than a caseworker exposes
a vulnerable child to yet another stranger. The children and youth who
child welfare agencies serve already have to interact with a large
number of professionals. An example chart is attached to this letter.
Rather than adding yet another unfamiliar face to a child’s life,
Nebraska should strive to provide these young people with consistency
and as much time as possible with trusted adults, who are trained to
serve vulnerable youth. Voices for Children believes that LB 112 takes
an important step in assuring that child welfare agencies can provide
the best possible services to our children and we urge you to advance it.”

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