Effectively addressing poverty is not only fundamental to the well-being of children and families in our community, it is also one of the keys to preventing the unnecessary entry of children into the foster care system.
That is why Appleseed is proud to support LB 508, a bill introduced by Senator Kathy Campbell that would incrementally increase the Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) rate in Nebraska to a more adequate level.
ADC provides cash assistance to low-income families with children and must go to pay for family living expenses like rent, utilities, food, clothing, and other necessities.
LB 508 is an important and necessary measure to establish more adequate support for the basic needs of very low-income families with children, and can prevent children from being unnecessarily removed from their homes.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly one in five Nebraska children (18.2%) lives in poverty, and more than half of children who enter the foster care system (58%) do so because of neglect, which means their basic physical, medical, educational, and/or emotional needs are not being met.
In Nebraska, the monthly ADC rate for a single parent with a school-aged child is $293 per month. That maximum payment rate has not been increased in more than 30 years.
The ADC program is essential in keeping many struggling families together. We must raise the rate to a level that will strengthen our communities and give our state’s poorest working families the chance to improve their circumstances while keeping children with their parents.