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Getting Ahead: Foster Care

PostedĀ Sep 13, 2023 12:31 PM
By Patricia Jones, Alliance Community Task Force:
Creating Opportunity

Most families try to do what is best for their children. But sometimes circumstances cause a situation to spin out of control. Sometimes the best solution is to remove the child from the home. Hopefully the situation is temporary, and the family can get the support they need to get back on track. Meanwhile, the child/children might be placed in foster care.

Children enter foster care because they or their families are in crisis. The family cannot take care of a child because of a death or incarceration of a parent, or maybe a health issue or addiction is creating the problem. Sometimes a child has been neglected, abused, or abandoned. Occasionally a parent cannot control a child’s behavior, and the Court will order foster care if the judge thinks it is in the best interest of the child. Some children spend days in foster care; others are in the system for years.

The foster care system is operated by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Within DHHS there is a Division of Children and Family Services, which includes child welfare. The mission of the Division of Children and Family Services is to provide the least disruptive services when needed, for only as long as needed, to give children the opportunity to succeed as adults.

Foster parents provide care for children who cannot safely remain in their own home. Foster homes provide support for foster children through either the Department of Health and Human Services or a contracted foster care agency.