***For Immediate Release***
Tuesday, December 14, 2021
Contact: Magdalena Cazarez
Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed
O: (402) 438-8853 ext 119X
C: (402) 504-0074
Nebraska Appleseed responds to the end of the child welfare contract in Omaha
Nebraska’s child welfare system should ensure stability for children and families
Lincoln, NE — On Tuesday, December 14, The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services announced that it was terminating its contract for child welfare case management services with St. Francis Ministries. In 2019, Nebraska Appleseed’s client, Laura Virgl, brought suit challenging the continued privatization of the Eastern Service Area’s child welfare cases.
In response to today’s announcement, Laura issues the following statement:
“The Department’s decision to end its current contract with St. Francis Ministries evidences why I brought suit. The State’s decision to continue privatizing its child welfare case management services is unjustified, inequitable, and has resulted in continued instability for youth and families.”
There is still work to be done. Even without St. Francis Ministries in place, the law still allows the Department to continue privatizing child welfare services in the Eastern Service Area. It is time for the Nebraska Legislature to act and end the privatization pilot project. Nebraska Appleseed will continue our work in Ms. Virgl’s case, advocating for a declaration that the continuation of privatization is unconstitutional and unjustified.