Newsroom > DHHS News Release

December 31, 2009

Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287
Jessyca Vandercoy, Right Turn Program Director, Lutheran Family Services, Inc., (402)661-7106.

New ‘Right Turn’ Program Provides Support After Adoptions or Guardianships Involving Children Who Were State Wards

Lincoln – The Department of Health and Human Services announced today that the new “Right Turn” program will be operated jointly by Lutheran Family Services, Inc. and the Nebraska Children’s Home Society starting January 1st.

“Right Turn will provide support on a voluntary basis after a family has adopted or agreed to be a guardian for a child or teen who had previously been in the state’s care,” said Todd Reckling, Director of the Division of Children and Family Services in DHHS. “Right Turn will help families address any issues that come up so the adoption or guardianship remains strong.”

Families who’ve adopted or are guardians for youth who were state wards can contact the Right Turn program 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling (888) 667-2399. Families can be connected to respite care, mentoring, counseling, classes, support groups and more.

“We’re very excited about Right Turn, a single source for information and assistance for the approximately 3,000 Nebraska families who’ve adopted or attained guardianship of a child through the state’s foster care system,” said Jessyca Vandercoy, Program Director for Right Turn. “These families will receive a mailing with information about Right Turn and the many services we can provide for them. It’s critical we support these families, so we’re thankful that DHHS recognized this need and placed such value on this program.”

A family is eligible for Right Turn services on a voluntary basis if the child is 18 or younger, the child was in the custody of DHHS prior to finalization of the adoption or guardianship, and if the parents have a valid adoption subsidy agreement with DHHS. This new program will be available as a result of LB 603, passed in 2009 to improve access to behavioral health and other services for children and teens.