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Lincoln – The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has finalized a contract agreement with Saint Francis Ministries to provide ongoing case management services in the Eastern Service Area (ESA), comprised of Douglas and Sarpy counties. The agreement comes after the Department of Administrative Services conducted a Request for Proposals (RFP) process for a contract that begins January 1.
Saint Francis was selected for the contract after receiving the highest score in the RFP evaluation process.
“While the DHHS transition of our subaward began when we filed the intent to award the contract June 3, finalizing the agreement marks the official beginning of our expanded partnership," said Matt Wallen, Director, Division of Children and Family Services (CFS). “With the continued cooperation of PromiseShip, and an intentional focus on maintaining the safety, permanency and wellbeing of children in the Omaha area, we are fostering a shared vision with Saint Francis Ministries. The vision is built on strong collaboration to promote greater community engagement, innovation, transparency and accountability for better outcomes."
The five-year contract is for approximately $196 million and includes the option of two additional years. Saint Francis will provide child welfare case management services, including family preservation, service coordination, foster care, adoption and resource family recruitment in the ESA. Under the contract, DHHS will continue to provide initial assessment and community support services in the area.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to expand our work with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services," said the Very Reverend Robert N. Smith, Saint Francis Ministries CEO, President and Dean. “We look forward to partnering with state leaders, legislators and the many excellent Nebraska organizations working in child welfare to provide a seamless transition and the best services and support possible, going forward."
Saint Francis Ministries will begin assuming case management upon completion of a readiness review, part of the robust transition process that includes skilled and experienced CFS teammates monitoring and measuring transition milestones.
“Saint Francis is collaborating with DHHS teammates and PromiseShip to develop joint operations and processes and ESA-specific protocols to plan, hire staff, prepare offices, update data systems, work with community stakeholders and develop a comprehensive provider network." said Wallen. “The transition process will focus on community engagement, communicating transition status and executing transition plans."
A new ESA Transition page is now included on the DHHS website as a source of information related to the transition. DHHS will hold community transition meetings across Douglas and Sarpy counties, in the coming weeks, to meet with the public, foster families and service providers. The sessions will include DHHS officials discussing the transition process and answering questions from the general public and anyone interested in child welfare in the Omaha area.
The transition is to be completed by January 1, 2020, according to the contract.