RELEASE – Child welfare advocates express alarm at Inspector General report

***For Immediate Release***

September 14, 2017

 

Contact, Jeff Sheldon
Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed
Office: (402) 438-8853
Mobile: (402) 840-7289
Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org

 

Child advocates respond to troubling Inspector General report

Continued failures to provide child welfare resources leads to more deadly outcomes

 

LINCOLN – On Wednesday, the Office of Inspector General Office released a report concerning deeply troubling outcomes in the state’s child welfare and juvenile justice systems, finding an increase in suicide attempts and sexual abuse of children in care. Thursday, Nebraska child advocates responded to the report’s findings.

“The Inspector General’s report this week highlights the continued tragic consequences resulting from the state’s reluctance to adequately invest in our child welfare system,” Nebraska Appleseed Child Welfare Director Sarah Helvey said. “The state continues to be out of compliance with legally mandated caseload limits and is failing to adequately meet the mental health needs of children in their care. We urge Nebraska’s leaders in every branch of government to act immediately to ensure the safety of our children and make it a top priority.”

“We are additionally concerned by the Administrative Office of the Court’s response to recommendations made by the Inspector General,” said Juliet Summers, policy coordinator for Voices for Children in Nebraska. “The death of a child in the care of our state system is a tragedy, creating an urgency in all stakeholders to take any steps necessary to ensure it is never repeated. The Inspector General plays a vital role as an external, neutral body with expertise to confidentially assess and provide reasonable recommendations to improve that system response.  Coordinating with the office’s investigations and responding formally to recommendations can only improve outcomes for our state’s youth, preventing future similar tragedies.”

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