Newsroom > DHHS News Release

September 30, 2010

Jeanne Atkinson, Communication and Legislative Services, DHHS (402) 471-8287

DHHS and Boys and Girls Home Agree to End Contract

Lincoln – The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Boys and Girls Home announced they have mutually agreed to end the contract for which Boys and Girls Home has been a lead contractor providing service delivery and service coordination through the State’s child welfare and juvenile services reform initiative. The contract will end October 15.

Kerry Winterer, DHHS CEO, said both agencies have worked together on issues of concern over the past few months and have decided ending the contract would be to everyone’s benefit, including children and families and other providers.

“Both organizations remain committed to the principles of the reform – serving more children in-home and improving on the outcomes of safety, permanency and well-being,” he said. “We appreciate the concern and input we’ve received from others. It’s our intent for services and supports to continue with as little interruption as possible to children and families.”

According to Todd Reckling, director of the DHHS Division of Children and Family Services, DHHS will step in and temporarily provide service coordination and contract for service delivery in the agency’s Western, Central and Northern Service Areas, with plans to contract with another lead provider in the future. Boys and Girls Home will assist in the transition. They will no longer be a lead contractor but will provide direct services in Nebraska.

Reckling said DHHS staff will contact all of the families and foster families in the coming days. If families have questions before being contacted, they can call their DHHS Children and Family Services Specialist.

DHHS will pay for services delivered from October 1, 2010 forward. Boys and Girls Home will remain responsible for payments for services prior to October 1.

Bob Sheehan, President and CEO of Boys and Girls Home and Family Services, Inc. said, “Providing services in rural Nebraska has unique challenges. We are proud of the services we offer children and families and plan to continue those services to all three areas. Administering all financial responsibility for all providers in the Northern, Central and Western Service Areas was totally new to us. With all the struggles and complexities, we thought it best to stay focused on what we do well and have the State do what they do well.”

“We have said, and continue to say, that this reform is needed if we are going to improve the way Nebraska serves children and families who are part of the child welfare and juvenile services systems,” said Reckling. “Being able to keep kids in their own homes and communities is the right direction and results in better outcomes. We appreciate the long history of Boys and Girls Home and their continued commitment to Nebraska children and families.”