Last Thursday, Nebraska Appleseed’s Child Welfare Team (AKA Sarah, Robbie, and Amy) took to the skies and headed to Washington, D.C., for the American Bar Association’s 15th Bi-Annual National Conference on Children and the Law. The two-day conference focused on emerging policy and systemic reform related to child welfare and offered workshops in the areas of education, disproportionality, kinship care, implementation of extended services and support (which will be particularly useful in light of Nebraska’s recent passage of the Young Adult Voluntary Services and Support Act), and other topics relevant to children and families.
Our team wasn’t just there to learn, we also presented our own workshop on transition planning with older youth in foster care. Helping a young person develop a thorough and comprehensive plan for their transition out of foster care is vital in setting youth up for success in adulthood. Far too often, however, this important step is neglected. Thus, we developed a Policy Brief on Transition Planning last summer to provide education on Nebraska’s current law and best practices in developing written transition proposals. To access other resources that may be useful when engaging in transition planning, including free local and national tools, check out our online resources on transition planning.
After our presentation, we spent the rest of the day in workshops, although we did have free time that evening to wander the streets of D.C., check out the United States Capitol and other landmarks, and take a few photos.
All-in-all, it was a great trip and a wonderful opportunity for our team to network and learn from the experiences of other states. As Nebraska continues moving forward with its reform of the foster care system, we hope to draw from some of the resources and education we received at this influential conference.