Nebraska Receives $1 Million Grant to End Multigeneration Involvement in Foster Care

Posted August 28, 2018, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Baby with Latina mother

Cross­ing paths with a pub­lic sys­tem sets off a dis­cour­ag­ing domi­no effect for fam­i­lies — one that can per­sist for gen­er­a­tions. Con­sid­er Nebras­ka, where 48% of young kids with fos­ter care expe­ri­ence have at least one par­ent who also nav­i­gat­ed a pub­lic sys­tem in their youth.

The good news? Help is com­ing. The Nebras­ka Expec­tant and Par­ent­ing Grant — admin­is­tered through the Preg­nan­cy Assis­tance Fund from the U.S. Depart­ment of Health and Human Ser­vices Office of Ado­les­cent Health — aims to con­nect young and expec­tant par­ents who have expe­ri­enced fos­ter care with greater access to sup­port resources and services.

The near­ly $1 mil­lion grant will help about 650 Nebraskans between the ages of 14 to 25 who have expe­ri­enced fos­ter care, juve­nile jus­tice, home­less­ness or sex­u­al exploita­tion. The Nebras­ka Chil­dren and Fam­i­lies Foun­da­tion — a site with the Casey Foun­da­tion’s Jim Casey Youth Oppor­tu­ni­ties Ini­tia­tive — is slat­ed to imple­ment the grant over the next two years.

As part of the grant, Nebras­ka Chil­dren and Fam­i­lies Foun­da­tion will pro­vide dia­pers and for­mu­la to new and expec­tant par­ents, bun­dle ser­vices for fam­i­lies and train social ser­vice providers on evi­dence-based prac­tices. The orga­ni­za­tion also will invest in career train­ing and edu­ca­tion pro­grams for young par­ents, in addi­tion to run­ning pub­lic edu­ca­tion cam­paigns for those who work with these families.

Sara Rif­fel, an asso­ciate vice pres­i­dent at the Nebras­ka Chil­dren and Fam­i­lies Foun­da­tion, is opti­mistic about the grant’s impact. By build­ing per­son­al and par­ent­ing skills and resilience in young peo­ple, we can dra­mat­i­cal­ly reduce the cycli­cal involve­ment in the child wel­fare sys­tem,” she says.

The grant will ini­tial­ly sup­port sev­en coun­ties in Nebras­ka: Boone, Dou­glas, Lin­coln, Madi­son, Pierce, Stan­ton and Wayne. It will expand to include Lan­cast­er and Sarpy coun­ties in year two.

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