***For Immediate Release***
Fri, Feb 25, 2022
Office: 402-438-8853 x 119
Nebraska Appleseed responds to the Legislature’s Advancement of LB 1173
The Nebraska Legislature took an important step towards ending child welfare privatization
LINCOLN, NE – Today, the Nebraska Legislature advanced LB1173, which is an important package of bills including several of Nebraska Appleseed’s Child Welfare Program priorities. Importantly included is the official ending of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services’ ability to privatize Nebraska’s child welfare case management services in the Eastern Service Area.
In 2019, Nebraska Appleseed’s client, Laura Virgl, brought suit seeking this same end. LB1173’s advancement is a major and important step towards this.
In response to today’s advancement, Ms. Virgl issues the following statement:
“The Legislature’s advancement of LB1173 is an important and necessary step towards ending Nebraska’s tumultuous and unjustified history with the privatization of its child welfare system, as evidenced by Saint Francis Ministries’ performance and contract failure over the past few years. The Legislature rightfully acknowledged the instability privatization has caused for youth and families and is one step closer to ending Nebraska’s failed experiment.”
Nebraska Appleseed and Laura Virgl ask the Nebraska Legislature to pass LB1173 as advanced and thank them for finally taking important steps to end the privatization pilot project and the Department’s authority to privatize its child welfare case management services. These efforts represent a monumental shift in our child welfare system for the first time in over a decade.