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The incident rate for admissions to foster care among young children (0-4) is twice what it is for children 5-17 years of age. Infants are nearly 25% of all entrants into foster care.

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Nebraska CPS News Archive

Nebraska News Coverage

by Derrick Jones

By a vote of 44-5, the Nebraska Legislature this morning gave final passage to the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act introduced by Speaker Mike Flood. Governor Dave Heineman is expected to sign the bill in a ceremony this afternoon.

A first of its kind in the United States, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act prohibits abortion after 20 weeks gestation except when the mother "has a condition which so complicates her medical condition as to necessitate the abortion of her pregnancy to avert death or to avert serious risk of substantial or irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function is necessary to preserve the life of an unborn child."

National Right to Life

April 13, 2010

by Martha Stoddard

What happens when more and more Nebraskans seek public help while state officials are trying to cut caseworker numbers?

The goal of ACCESSNebraska is to modernize and streamline the way the state provides benefits. Officials say the system will save $5 million in state and federal funds annually when fully implemented in 2012.

The Omaha World-Herald

February 14, 2010

by JoAnne Young

Trish Blakely helped build the program from the ground up, and now it's established and working well. But a change in the way the state does foster care may send the program back to square one.

The state is turning over the day-to-day operations of foster care to five private providers statewide. Since many of the families getting assistance from the Healthy Families Project have kids in the child welfare system, Blakely will have to negotiate with three providers in the Lancaster County area -- KVC Behavioral Health Care, Visinet and Cedars -- to allow those families to continue in the program.

Journal Star

November 29, 2009

by Paul Hammel

LINCOLN -- A federal agency has recommended that the head of the Nebraska Foster Care Review Board be fired for allegedly engaging in political activity while at work.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel filed a complaint last week seeking the firing of Carol Stitt, who has led the review agency since 1983. The board receives federal funds and must abide by federal rules.

The Omaha World-Herald

November 23, 2009

A public forum on mental health, child protection and civil rights is set for Oct. 3 at University of Nebraska at Omaha, Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom.

Afternoon public forum, 1:30-5; parent panel; Diane Redleaf, attorney and executive director, Family Defense Center in Chicago; Richard Wexler, executive director, National Coalition for Child Protection Reform.

Journal Star

September 29, 2009

Anyone who thought Nebraska's safe haven law and the child welfare issues that surround it are resolved, think again.

Continuing news coverage demonstrates the troubles among Nebraska families and the state agency most responsible for dealing with them when they fly out of control: the Department of Health and Human Services. News reports suggest that too often, families and the department are in conflict over the best way to deal with troubled kids.

Journal Star

September 29, 2009

by JoAnne Young

Scott Grammer had a lot to say to the small Canon camera videotaping his story, so he figured he'd start at the beginning and see where it took him.

In less than an hour, it took him through a parent's nightmarish tale of losing an adolescent daughter, first to emotional troubles brought about by a childhood sexual assault she kept secret too long. Then to the Nebraska child welfare system he believes too easily took away the parents' rights and then failed to properly care for the girl in its custody.

Journal Star

September 19, 2009

by Elliot Njus

A teen accused of shooting and killing a man in March and severely injuring another man was on the run from foster care.

According to court records, Akeem Jones, 18, had been running from foster placements on and off for the last four years. Department of Health and Human Services officials could not be immediately reached this morning for comment.

The Omaha World-Herald

July 23, 2009

by Katie Fretland

With stories, songs and prayers, Michael Belitz was remembered Friday as a smart sixth-grade boy who cared deeply for others. The little, blonde 12-year-old who was found dead Sunday inside his home at 28th and Ida Streets.

Michael was full of energy, talked a lot and loved to be around adults. "He was one of those kids who as soon as you knew him, you loved him," said his fifth-grade teacher, Dana Barker. Belitz's mother, Angela Manns, 46, is charged with first-degree murder in his death.

The Omaha World-Herald

July 18, 2009

The ACLU has reminded every Nebraska school district of the privacy rights of students, including parents' rights, under federal law, to make sure information about their children doesn't go to military recruiters.

ACLU Nebraska said the notification to school districts followed complaints from parents that their children's privacy rights weren't be honored by schools. The letter gives school districts an outline of their obligations which are part of federal law.

Nebraska State Paper

July 17, 2009

by Women's Prison Association

The Women's Prison Association (WPA) has released the first-ever national report on prison nursery programs. The report examines the expansion of prison nursery programs across the U.S.

These programs allow incarcerated women to keep their newborns with them in prison for a finite period of time. The report finds that the number of prison-based nursery programs is growing, but that such programs are still relatively rare.


July 13, 2009

by Patrick May

A Stanford University physicist whose two children were taken from him and his wife last month after a family altercation in Nebraska.

Earlier this week, a Nebraska judge said Wang and paralegal Charlotte Fu's two children could leave the foster home they'd been held in since June 6 and return to the Bay Area, where child-welfare officials will take over the case.

San Jose Mercury News

July 11, 2009

by Lynn Safranek

An Omaha woman became a foster parent in September - at age 75 - after the boys' father left them and seven of their siblings at Creighton University Medical Center under Nebraska's safe haven law.

It is the first permanent living arrangement for any of the 29 safe haven children who have remained in Nebraska foster care after being left at hospitals last fall. Six additional children were returned to their home states and one Omaha child was returned home immediately.

Omaha World-Herald

May 28, 2009

Fremont Police are looking for a teenager on suspicion of a child custody violation. 18-year-old Graciela Moreno of Fremont took her 8-month-old son, Francisco Moreno, from a foster home at around 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Moreno had been cited for minor in possession of alcohol earlier in the day, but Elliott said the child was placed in protective custody because of suspicion that his mother had subjected him to methamphetamines.

The Fremont Tribune

May 28, 2009

by JoAnne Young

An Omaha senator said Thursday she will propose changing the makeup of the Foster Care Review Board.

Sen. Brenda Council will ask to return a bill (LB679) from final reading to second round debate to make changes aimed at doing away with the appearance of conflict of interest. LB679 would require candidates for the Foster Care Review Board to disclose to the governor any income they or their employer receives from the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Lincoln Journal Star

May 4, 2009

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa -- A Malvern teen has been arrested after allegedly making three small children smoke marijuana while babysitting.

Council Bluffs Police charged the 16-year-old with three counts of administering harmful substances and three counts of child endangerment on Thursday. Police allege the teen smoked marijuana while caring for three children, ages 3, 5 and 9 on Jan. 9.

KETV News 7 Omaha

January 25, 2009

by Martha Stoddard

LINCOLN -- Carol Stitt will stay on as executive director of the Nebraska Foster Care Review Board, despite criticism raised by a legislative review.

Both Stitt and the board members decided during a closed meeting that she should continue to lead the agency. The Foster Care Review Board oversees citizen reviews of children in the foster care system, monitors facilities that house children, collects information and makes recommendations about the child welfare system.

Omaha World-Herald

January 9, 2009

by Matthew Hansen

Boes and seven other behavioral health-care providers and children's advocates say Nebraska, if it wants to help families in crisis, needs to shorten the lines to existing services and provide new doorways to new programs.

They say such families - similar to the 27 who dropped off children at hospitals before the state narrowed its safe-haven law - number in the thousands. Most of the experts interviewed expect to be named to a blue-ribbon group that will advise the Nebraska Legislature's newly created Children in Crisis Task Force. That task force, announced Thursday, has vowed to design legislation in the next month to solve the problems made evident by the safe-haven cases.

Omaha World-Herald

November 23, 2008

OMAHA, Neb. -- Police are looking for a 17-year-old girl who ran off when she realized her mother was taking her to a Nebraska hospital to drop her off under the Safe Haven law.

The state has reported 32 children being left under the Safe Haven law since it took effect, many of whom were older children or teenagers.

KETV Omaha

November 14, 2008

OMAHA, Neb. -- Anthony Ray liked to play Game Boy and eat Chinese food. He was a straight-A student who, on the surface, seemed to have everything he needed. Though he never fulfilled a wish he carried in his heart: He wanted to be adopted.

On Saturday night, Ray was shot to death on the couch of his foster mother's home at 37th and Bedford streets. Police arrested a 12-year-old boy for the homicide. Ray's life was not that of a carefree teenager. He was a child of the system since he was 3.

KETV Omaha (NE)

November 11, 2008

by Lynn Safranek

Anthony Ray didn't live long enough to receive what might have been his best Christmas gift. His foster mother had decided to adopt him.

Instead, a gunshot killed the 15-year-old - the last in a lifetime of injustices. Anthony, who had lived in foster care most of his life, was the youngest person in Omaha this year to die from gun violence. But that sad milestone was overshadowed by shock that a 12-year-old boy was arrested as his suspected shooter.

Omaha World-Herald

November 11, 2008

by Gary Smollen

Omaha Police cited a Heartland woman for misdemeanor child neglect, after she allegedly left her daughter in the car during her shift at Methodist Hospital.

The six year old girl told one of the case managers at Child Protective Services that her mother left her in the car while she went to work at the hospital. When police approached 35-year old Natina Bass about her daughter's story, Bass asked for a lawyer.


November 7, 2008

Every state now has a "safe haven" law allowing parents who can't care for a newborn to drop him or her off at a "safe haven," such as a hospital, firehouse or police station.

Nebraska's new statute allows parents to drop off kids of ANY age up to 17. And sure enough, Kauffman says, this past weekend, a 13-year-old girl was left at a hospital. Earlier, 11 and 15-year-old boys were abandoned at hospitals, and a 12-year-old boy was dropped at a police station.

CBS News

September 23, 2008

OMAHA - Another teenager was left at an Omaha hospital under Nebraska's safe haven law.

Child Protective Services says a 13-year-old girl was left at Immanuel Hospital sometime this afternoon.

KPTM Fox News 42

September 20, 2008

WEEPING WATER, Neb. -- The Cass County attorney decides not to file charges after a 5-year-old boy accuses a teenager of sexually assaulting him at a home-based child care in Weeping Water.

The boy told his dad, and later the Cass County sheriff, that he had been molested by a 13-year-old during a game of Truth or Dare at his day care. The Callahans turned the case over to the Cass County sheriff and Nebraska's Child Protective Services offices.

KETV Omaha

September 19, 2008

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