Author: Becca Brune

Build Back Better

Take action now on the Build Back Better legislation!

Congress has the opportunity to pass meaningful and long-awaited reforms that would make a real difference in the lives of Nebraskans. The new House Build Back Better legislation is a historic step forward that can bring real change by reducing poverty and lessening racial disparities. We need your advocacy to let our members of Congress know we support this legislation.… Read more →

The American Rescue Plan’s passage brings urgent relief to millions

Today, the House took a significant step by passing the American Rescue Plan and providing urgent relief to millions of U.S. households. This legislation will now go to the President for his signature. The bill not only extends crucial support such as increased food assistance and unemployment benefits, but also temporarily expands other programs and benefits, having the potential to… Read more →

Tell Congress it’s time for meaningful Covid-19 relief

The COVID-19 public health crisis has left millions of families and individuals struggling to afford food and keep a roof overhead, while also continuing to perform essential work for our communities. Congress has taken important first steps in providing relief last year, but much more is needed. President Biden’s Covid-19 relief proposal, the American Rescue Plan, provides this much needed… Read more →

Emergency COVID-19 Relief is Only a Start

After months of negotiations, Congress has passed an emergency COVID-19 relief package that will provide urgently needed support to Nebraskans. While the passage of this long-awaited relief will provide direct payments, housing assistance, increased support for many families, and more, this bill still falls short of meeting the level of need in our Nebraska communities. Along with a large spending… Read more →


TAKE ACTION: Support Crucial COVID-19 Relief

Many of the essential protections in the CARES Act, passed in March, have now expired, yet  Nebraskans continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis. While the U.S. House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, the Senate has yet to act to provide critical and inclusive relief to thousands of Nebraskans, including Black and Latinx communities who have… Read more →

Take Action

TAKE ACTION: Tell Nebraska’s U.S. Senators to Pass Crucial COVID-19 Relief

Over two months ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, which closed gaps in previous relief measures to further support families and communities as they continue to confront the COVID-19 public health crisis. It is far past time for the Senate to act to provide critical and inclusive relief to thousands of Nebraskans, including Black and Latinx… Read more →

Take Action: Urge Congress to Support Foster Youth

In the midst of a pandemic, our communities have been hit hard by COVID-19, particularly for young people with foster care experience. Many of them are struggling to stay housed, afford food, and are worried about their futures. In Nebraska, we are fortunate to have a program like Bridge to Independence (B2I), which supports young people who age out of… Read more →

We Count! How foster families can complete the census together

Nebraska is currently one of the top states in the nation for census self-response, and we need your help to keep that up, especially in counting communities that often go under-reported, including youth in foster care. Counting children in the 2020 census is so important – these statistics will be used to determine how billions of dollars will be allocated… Read more →

COVID-19 Resources for Older Youth in the Child Welfare System

COVID-19 Resources for Families and Older Youth in the Child Welfare System While there are many concerns to be addressed during this unprecedented time for families at risk of entering the child welfare system as well as those already system-involved, there are resources available for young people who have aged out of the foster care system in Nebraska.  The Children’s… Read more →

Five years of victories for the Bridge to Independence Program

In 2013, the Nebraska Legislature passed the Young Adult Voluntary Services and Supports Act to better support young adults who exited foster care in “transitioning to adulthood, becoming self-sufficient, and creating permanent relationships. This created Nebraska’s Bridge to Independence (b2i) program, which was structured through the input of many young advocates with former foster care experience.  B2i participants eligibility requirements… Read more →

Families of color experience negative outcomes per Nebraska’s Voices for Children report

Voices for Children Report highlights race equity lens in Nebraska’s child welfare system All children and families deserve an equal opportunity to a brighter future Our friends at Voices for Children in Nebraska recently released their report, Equity Before the Law: Race & Ethnicity in the Front End of Nebraska’s Child Welfare System. This report shows how the child welfare… Read more →

How two bills add up to countless opportunities for Nebraska children

The Nebraska Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee heard testimony March 7 on two bills introduced by Sen. Kate Bolz that would make a profound difference for Nebraska children and families. LB 332: Closing gaps in support for young people entering adulthood The first child welfare bill discussed, LB 332, would allow more young adults to access the Bridge to… Read more →

Removing Barriers to Driving for Youth in Foster Care

Yesterday the Judiciary Committee of the Nebraska Legislature heard testimony on a bill that would remove barriers that stand in the way of young people in foster care learning to drive and getting their driver’s license. Learning how to drive and obtaining a driver’s license are not only exciting achievements but also necessities for young people as the pursue their… Read more →

Take Action

Tell Congress to say “NO” to federal foster/adoption discrimination

Every Nebraska child should have a safe and loving family. Our state’s foster and adoptive parents play this essential role every day to make sure children are cared about and provided for. But right now, Nebraska kids who are in need of these safe, loving homes are being threatened by discrimination that our state has already rejected. In an alarming… Read more →

State Senators introduce Nebraska child welfare reform package

Earlier this month we shared a blog about the state of child welfare in Nebraska when reports were released calling for reform after the investigations of the death, serious injury and sexual assault of children in foster care. Nebraska State Senators have continued to take a stand and call for reforms through the introduction of a number of important bills… Read more →

The state of Child Welfare in Nebraska

At Nebraska Appleseed we advocate for policies and practices that help prevent families from becoming involved with the foster care system. For the times when the support of the system may be needed – when children enter foster care – the state becomes their guardian and takes on the responsibility of ensuring their safety and wellbeing. Recently released reports from… Read more →

Foster Care Reform Update – The Foster Youth and Driving Act

In This Issue Policy Spotlight: The Foster Youth and Driving Act Court Opinions: In re Interest of Carmelo G., Jill B. and Travis B. v. State Legislative Actions: 2017 Child Welfare Interim Studies Policy Spotlight Advocates and lawmakers across the nation have been working to reduce the barriers faced by youth in foster care when learning how to drive, obtain… Read more →

Foster care, homelessness, and the LGBT community – how does it all connect?

Research has shown the connection between foster care and homelessness – one study found that of more than 800 youth who were homeless in 11 cities — including Omaha — half spent time in foster care. This report also found nearly 30 percent of the homeless youth had identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual and 7 percent identified as transgender. Our previous Foster… Read more →

Foster Care Month is here!

May is National Foster Care Month. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan issued the first Presidential proclamation that established May as National Foster Care Month. This month, Nebraska Appleseed will be publishing a series of blogs on the work we do, alongside young adult advocates, to improve Nebraska’s foster care system. Nebraska Appleseed works with government agencies, lawmakers, and communities on… Read more →

Nebraska Legislature considers child welfare reforms

Last week was a busy week! The Affordable Care Act was maintained by Congress, thanks to the advocacy of people all over the country. Debates also continued in the Nebraska Legislature on voting rights, mandatory minimums, human trafficking and much more. Something we don’t want you to miss, however, was the advancement of a number of important child welfare legislative… Read more →

TANF funding for poverty and child welfare

This month, the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program turned 20, which makes now a good time to look at how the program is working to help fight poverty for working families. TANF is the only federal program that provides cash assistance to low-income families with children, and recently, new information has been released by the Administration for… Read more →

Extended foster care helps smooth transition to adulthood

This summer, 12 young adults who were formerly in foster care, as a part of congressional internships though Foster Youth Internship Program, released policy recommendations on how to improve the foster care system. Twenty-two year old Kristopher Wannquist made recommendations surrounding extended foster care, a program that was established in Nebraska in 2014 called Bridge to Independence (B2I). As part… Read more →