Nebraska's Tool Kit for Systems Involved in the Education of Students in Out-of-Home Care

Tool A-3:  Sample Processes

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services - Families Matter OverView

Nebraska's Child Welfare Court Process

Part Two: Child Welfare System
Section A. Nebraska's Child Welfare Court System

Families Matter Overview

In January of 2011, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) transferred child welfare and juvenile services case management functions to private contractors in the Eastern and Southeast Service Areas of the state as part of the Nebraska Families Matter Reform. In those Service Areas, two-thirds (2/3) of families receive case management from private contractors and one-third (1/3) from DHHS. The goal of the Families Matter Reform is to improve the outcomes of child safety, community safety, permanency and well-being for children, youth and families.

View the Families Matter Overview(PDF)

The Families Matter Overview illustrates the processes and responsibilities for providing services and assistance to children and youth involved in the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice System through DHHS. Private contractor caseworkers, known as Family Permanency Specialists, handle certain case management functions previously performed by DHHS Children and Family Services Specialists (CFSS). DHHS staff assigned to work with those contract staff are now known as Children and Family Outcome Monitors (CFOM) and have taken on a new role of monitoring outcomes and analyzing data as well as continuing to make key decisions as required by Nebraska statute. DHHS retains responsibility for child abuse investigations.

The Families Matter Overview is also available through the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services website:

Additional information about the Nebraska Families Matter Reform Initiative is provided on its website:

For more information about the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services – Division of Children and Family Services, refer to the Systems Tool Kit - Part Two, Section B. Additional information is available on the DHHS website:


Nebraska's Child Welfare Court Process

The Nebraska's Child Welfare Court Process provides a summary of the primary actions which occur when a juvenile enters the Child Welfare Court System. In Nebraska, the Juvenile Court has jurisdiction in cases involving any child or youth, from birth to nineteen (19) years of age, believed to be abused, neglected, abandoned or dependent, as defined in Nebraska Revised Statute §43-247(3). The Juvenile Court also has jurisdiction over juveniles who have committed law violations. However, the Child Welfare Court Process illustrated in this section focuses on children and youth involved in Juvenile Court due to abuse, neglect, abandonment or dependency.

View the Nebraska's Child Welfare Court Process (PDF)

Regardless of the reasons and circumstances for the Juvenile Court's involvement with a child or youth, it intervenes and acts in that juvenile's best interests, with due regard for parental rights and responsibilities. Its jurisdiction extends to the child's birth or adoptive parents or guardian. Full due process protections and considerations must be observed and provided to the juvenile and the parents throughout the Child Welfare Court Process.

For more information about Child Abuse, Neglect and Dependency as well as Nebraska's Child Welfare Court System, refer to the Systems Tool Kit - Part Two, Section A.

Topics related to Juvenile Offenders and Nebraska's Juvenile and Criminal Justice Systems are addressed in the Systems Tool Kit - Part Three, Section A.

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