Author: Sarah Helvey

The FFCRA: Back-to-School Edition

Paid leave available for some working parents with children out of school or childcare due to COVID-19 The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was the first aid package passed by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The FFCRA contains paid leave provisions related to the pandemic. The provision that has gotten the most attention provides expanded paid sick… Read more →

RELEASE: Nebraska Appleseed files lawsuit seeking stability for Nebraska’s child welfare system

***For Immediate Release*** Tuesday, September 3, 2019 Contact: Magdalena Cazarez Communications Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Ext 119 Cell: (402) 504-0074 mcazarez@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed files lawsuit seeking stability for Nebraska’s child welfare system Suit says current private contracts violate Nebraska’s Constitution   LINCOLN – Today, Nebraska Appleseed filed a lawsuit in Lancaster County District Court on behalf of a child… Read more →

RELEASE: Appleseed Sends Demand Letter Seeking Stability for Nebraska’s Child Welfare System

***For Immediate Release*** Monday, August 26, 2019 Contact: Magdalena Cazarez Communications Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Ext 119 Cell: (402) 504-0074 mcazarez@neappleseed.org 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… Read more →

STATEMENT: Child welfare contract creates concerns for Nebraska families

***For Immediate Release*** Monday, July 8, 2019 Contact: Magdalena Cazarez Communications Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Ext 119 Cell: (402) 504-0074 mcazarez@neappleseed.org The new child welfare contract creates challenges and concerns for Nebraska Nebraska’s child welfare system should ensure stability for children and families   LINCOLN – Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services finalized the child welfare contract… Read more →

Safer families and a healthier future for Nebraska children

This coming year, Appleseed will continue our fight to strengthen and improve Nebraska’s child welfare system at both the Legislature and through the courts. But one of the biggest priorities in 2019 is to make sure we take advantage of a golden opportunity presented by a new federal law that could improve the prospects of safe, united families and better… Read more →

Take Action – Stop cuts to Nebraska’s child welfare system

We’re asking you to Take Action today to stop possible cuts that would weaken the child welfare system. The Nebraska Legislature’s Appropriations Committee is working on their final budget recommendations and may cut funding for programs that have been important for helping Nebraska’s children find permanency and stability in loving homes. Please call or email State Senators on the Appropriations… Read more →

Help pass this important Child Welfare bill in Congress

Research shows the best outcomes for children come when you can keep them together with their parents in their own home. That’s not always possible, but we must make every effort to avoid removing children from their homes – and that includes helping parents during difficult times. An important new bill coming up soon in the U.S. Senate would strengthen… Read more →

RELEASE – Policy change means more former foster youth eligible for health coverage

***For Immediate Release*** March 13, 2015   Contact, Sarah Helvey Child Welfare Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 850-6885 shelvey@neappleseed.org State Clarifies Medicaid Eligibility for Former Foster Youth in Independent Living Approximately 1,000 additional young people now eligible for health coverage   LINCOLN — This week, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services officially changed a previous… Read more →

LB 853 would help young Nebraskans have best chance at success

During the 2013 Legislative session, state senators passed LB 216, a landmark piece of legislation to help remove barriers to health and success for young people who age out of Nebraska’s foster care system.  The bill created a voluntary system of services and support for these young people, now known as the Bridge to Independence program. After last year’s session,… Read more →

One step closer to Bridge to Independence for youth aging out of foster care

With 2014 just around the bend, we are closer than ever to local implementation of a program that has had child welfare advocates buzzing for years.  This program, recently titled Bridge to Independence by members of Project Everlast, will voluntarily extend services and support to age 21 for youth aging out of foster care.  This program was created by the… Read more →

Federal child welfare news

While Nebraska Appleseed continues to work with state lawmakers and local stakeholders to improve our state’s child welfare system, we also have been following several efforts to address child welfare issues at the federal level. Last week, I attended a gathering of policy advocates in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities… Read more →

Affordable Care Act provides health care coverage opportunities for youth with foster care experience

There has been a lot of talk and excitement recently about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which will be fully implemented starting January 1, 2014.  While the ACA goes a long way in providing Nebraskans with access to affordable and comprehensive coverage, there are a few lesser-known provisions.  In particular, youth who age out of foster care will be eligible… Read more →

Appleseed CWT takes on D.C. for national children’s conference

Last Thursday, Nebraska Appleseed’s Child Welfare Team (AKA Sarah, Robbie, and Amy) took to the skies and headed to Washington, D.C., for the American Bar Association’s 15th Bi-Annual National Conference on Children and the Law.  The two-day conference focused on emerging policy and systemic reform related to child welfare and offered workshops in the areas of education, disproportionality, kinship care,… Read more →

Reviewing “The Fosters” – Playing by the (unwritten) rules

As mentioned in our last blog, this week’s premier of the new ABC Family television show “The Fosters” covered a diverse range of topics, including same-sex parenting, multi-ethnic family dynamics, unreported foster home abuse, placement/school instability, the strength of sibling relationships, and an unhealthy meeting with a biological parent.  Basically everything but the kitchen sink. As I sat curled up… Read more →

One Step Closer to a Bright Future

Groups of young Nebraskans waiting in the Capitol lobby to speak with senators has become a regular occurrence this legislative session when LB 216, the bill to extend voluntary services and support to age 21 for young people who age out of foster care, is a topic of discussion. Tuesday was no different, with members and staff of Project Everlast… Read more →

Success Beyond 18 launches to give young people a better path to success

Monday, young people with experience in foster care teamed up with legislators and child welfare experts from across the country to head to Washington D.C., and help launch Success Beyond 18, a national campaign of the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative to create a better path for young people transitioning from foster care to adulthood. Speakers included Gary Stangler, Executive… Read more →

Every Young Person Deserves the Chance to Boomerang

Young adults returning to their parents’ home after living on their own is a pretty common occurrence nowadays.  This back-and-forth movement has particularly increased in recent years – so much so that it’s spurred a new generational nickname: “The Boomerang Kids.” Although I would certainly no longer call myself a “kid,” I am not ashamed to identify as one of… Read more →