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Governor Heineman Approves Efforts to Improve Child Welfare Reform

Press Release

Location: Lincoln, NE

Gov. Dave Heineman today signed into law legislation aimed at helping Nebraska children as part of LR 37, a package of bills related to improving the child welfare reform efforts.

"I appreciate the work of the Health and Human Services Committee, and the leadership of Senator Kathy Campbell and Speaker Mike Flood working cooperatively with the Department of Health and Human Services," said Gov. Heineman. "These bills represent an important step forward as we continue to reform child welfare to better serve the citizens of Nebraska. Our focus should remain on helping children in the system."

The child welfare package includes four bills introduced by the Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee and one bill introduced by the Legislative Performance Audit Committee.

LB 820 requires DHHS to apply for a federal foster care demonstration project, increases foster care payments, and changes foster care licensure requirements.
LB 821 creates the Nebraska Children's Commission and the Inspector General for child welfare.
LB 949 requires DHHS to develop a strategic plan that includes goals, benchmarks and progress reports, expenditure reports and creates a separate child welfare budget. The Governor signed this bill into law last week.
LB 961 changes provisions relating to case management, caseloads, and the contract for child welfare services. The Governor signed this bill into law last week.
LB 1160 requires DHHS to develop a plan for a web-based, statewide automated child welfare information system.

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