Enforcing Court Orders in the Best Interests of Children

boyYesterday, the Nebraska Supreme Court heard arguments in an appeal of a juvenile court’s order holding HHS in contempt for failure to provide counseling services as ordered for a child in an out-of-home placement. In this case, HHS also questioned the authority of juvenile courts to hold HHS responsible for payments by HHS’s lead contractor under the child welfare privatization to ensure placement stability for the child. Because we think these are important systemic issues, Appleseed filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief in this case. It is possible the Supreme Court will not reach the merits of these issues in this case because of jurisdictional issues (which would have the positive effect, we believe, of essentially upholding the juvenile court orders in this case but would not address the larger systemic issues). We believe that the role of juvenile courts is to make and enforce orders in the best interests of children and that that role is particularly vital when HHS’s actions are in conflict with the child’s best interests. The Supreme Court’s decision in this case is expected this spring.

Read Appleseed’s amicus brief

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