Lawmakers say proposals will improve child welfare system

Child Welfare System.PNG

Nebraska lawmakers have introduced bills they say aim to improve the state’s child welfare system.

State Senator Kate Bolz introduced LB 1046, requiring the state to call a caseload ratio emergency. According to a September inspector general report, the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has too high of caseload. It also says, “DHHS has never complied with the minimum caseload standards required by Nebraska law since 2012.”

Under the proposal, after six months of exceeding state standards, the governor would be required to call a caseload ratio emergency.

LB 1078 introduced by Sen. Sue Crawford would require DHHS to report cases of sexual abuse.

Another bill by Sen. Anna Wishart, LB 1041 would require foster parents to go through training on sexual abuse.

A December inspector general report looked at 50 cases of sexual abuse while children were in state care.

It found in 18 of the cases a caregivers knew about the incident but failed to properly report it.

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