***For Immediate Release***
Monday, August 26, 2019
Contact: Magdalena Cazarez
Office: (402) 438-8853 Ext 119
Cell: (402) 504-0074
Nebraska Appleseed Seeks Stability for Nebraska’s Child Welfare System
The current private contracts violate Nebraska’s Constitution
LINCOLN – Today, Nebraska Appleseed sent a demand letter to officials at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the Nebraska Department of Administrative Services, PromiseShip, and Saint Francis Ministries stating that the private contracts for child welfare case management in the Eastern Service Area violate the Nebraska Constitution. If the contracts are not stopped within the week, Appleseed will file suit seeking a court order to stop the contracts.
“Nebraska’s children and families deserve a stable child welfare system that is not subject to disruption on an on-going basis. The time for experimenting with the Eastern Service Area has come to an end and it is time to return to a cohesive system of case management statewide,” said Sarah Helvey, Director of Appleseed’s Child Welfare Program.
“Nebraska’s constitution provides protections against legislation that treats people in a similar situation differently. Continuing to utilize a system of private case management contracts that serve only two counties in the state violates that protection. The solution we are seeking is for case management in the Eastern Service Area, made up of Douglas and Sarpy Counties, to return to the state, which is currently managing the system in the 91 other counties.”
“Our core values as a state are centered on ensuring all children and families are safe and healthy. We hope that the agency officials and private organizations will come to the table to resolve this issue without the need for litigation. However, we are fully prepared to go to court to defend the rights of Nebraska’s children and families and the tax dollars that have been supporting a disjointed system.”