February 2, 2012
To: Members of the Health and Human Services Committee
From: Sarah Forrest, Policy Coordinator – Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice
Re: Support for LB 1062 – Improving Adoption Subsidies and Assistance
Children thrive in stable, family environments where their needs can be met. Every effort to ensure children stay in permanent, loving homes and prevent them from entering into out-of-home care should be taken. Voices for Children in Nebraska supports LB 1062 as way to ensure stability for children after they have been adopted.
Signed adoption agreements between parents and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) stating clear terms of assistance, can clarify expectations and make it easier for families to plan for and support children. Allowing adoption assistance payments to continue after the death of adoptive parents if the need remains and to facilitate finding another permanent home for a child, keeps children in a permanent, stable environment in which they can thrive.
The Legislature should be commended for supporting post-guardianship and post-adoption services, as part of the LB 603 programs created after problems encountered during the Safe Haven crisis. LB 1062 is a simple, cost neutral bill that supports these efforts. Preventing children from becoming state wards is beneficial both to them and our state.
We urge you to advance this bill. Thank you.