(402) 597-3100

Search Results for: community eligibility

Keeping kids enrolled in Medicaid – Support for LB 220

  Today, Voices for Children testified in strong support for LB 220, a bill that would reinstate 12-month continuous eligibility for Medicaid for low-income children.  Here’s what we said to the committee: Voices for Children in Nebraska would like to express our support for LB 220 and thank Senator Avery for bringing this bill forward. In 2002, Nebraska took a step backwards in ensuring low-income children have ongoing access to health care.  Prior to this time, children enrolled in state health insurance programs were considered continually eligible for a period of 12 months after enrollment and in 2002, this time period was shortened to 6 months.  This change increased the administrative burden for both families and Health and Human Services staff and decreased the likelihood that low-income children would maintain consistent health insurance coverage.

Read more

Stepping up for Kids: What Should Nebraska Do to Support Kinship Families?

  Today, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released a new policy report on kinship care, Stepping up for Kids: What Governments and Communities Should Do to Support Kinship Families. Kinship care is the age-old tradition of relatives and close family friends caring for children when their parents are unable to do so. These arrangements often arise informally, with families stepping in to ensure children are safe and well cared for in the wake of a whole host of challenges – from military service, to mental health challenges, to domestic violence, and incarceration. When some of these same situations result in a child’s placement in the child welfare system, kinship care is federally recognized as a preferred placement for children, and kinship care was home to about 22% of Nebraska’s foster youth in 2010.

Read more

A closer look at Nebraska’s YRTCs

    Every year, Nebraska’s courts send a number of serious and not-so-serious juvenile offenders to the Youth Residential Treatment Centers (YRTCs) in Kearney and Geneva. Like all placements and services ordered under Nebraska’s juvenile code, the goal in placing youth at these institutions should be their rehabilitation. Both YRTCs’ missions are consistent with this goal; they aim to provide services and supports to young people so that they can go on to live productive and law-abiding lives. However, as with many other juvenile services across the United States, promises of quality services and rehabilitation are not always fulfilled. Evidence is mounting nationally and in Nebraska that the YRTC model and other large juvenile corrections institutions simply do not work. They have been described as: “dangerous, ineffective, unnecessary, obsolete, wasteful, and inadequate.” Data suggest Nebraska’s YRTCs are: monopolizing available funding for juvenile justice, serving the wrong children, and inadequately providing for the needs of youth. With over $17 million a year spent on our Youth Residential Treatment Centers, the time has come for Nebraska to keep youth closer to home and invest our juvenile justice dollars in truly rehabilitative and cost effective models.  To begin improving our juvenile justice system Nebraska should: Limit eligibility for placement at YRTCs; Invest in evidence-based practices at the community level; and Replace the YRTCs with small, community-based facilities for high-risk youth. View/download the full issue brief: [issuu width=420 height=272 backgroundColor=%23222222 documentId=120103174425-b5105c061b564084848fd212d8cb802f name=yrtc_issue_brief username=voicesne tag=courts unit=px id=1bec3af0-106c-8ae8-a22d-29b7752ed05f v=2]  

Read more