Last Wednesday, Child Welfare Director Sarah Helvey spoke at a Reform Roundtable event sponsored by Project Everlast. About 35 youth with foster care experience attended to eat pizza, learn about privatization, and get answers from a panel of representatives from DHHS, KVC, NFC, Nebraska Appleseed, and Voices for Children. Questions ranged from how a Title IV-E waiver would work to the recent emphasis on keeping children in their own homes, and many youth expressed concerns about what changes were really being made. Specifically, youth wondered why the focus hadn’t always been on preventing unnecessary removals and what role privatization had played in this “culture shift.”
The event lasted for two hours, although the youths’ passion could have easily carried conversations on much longer. We are excited to continue working with Project Everlast on youth-driven events like this in the future!