DHHS, Saint Francis Ministries to Provide Update on Child Welfare Change in Omaha Area

News Release
For Immediate Release: 12/5/2019

Lee Rettig, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287; lee.rettig@nebraska.gov


Lincoln – Those interested in learning more about the future of child welfare in Douglas and Sarpy counties can attend upcoming town hall sessions with officials from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Saint Francis Ministries (Saint Francis), the Department's new case management contractor for the area. The sessions will include a brief presentation on the transition to Saint Francis followed by a question and answer session.

About 40% of Nebraska's child welfare cases are in Douglas and Sarpy counties, which make up DHHS' Eastern Service Area (ESA). PromiseShip, formerly Nebraska Families Collaborative, has been the Department's main child welfare contractor in the ESA since 2009.

“We're reaching out to community members, partners, stakeholders and others invested in child welfare in the Omaha area as we continue this transition with a focus on transparency, responsiveness and, ultimately, on fostering a smooth handoff to our new ESA partner," said Dannette R. Smith, DHHS Chief Executive Officer. “Transitions like this are complex, but through the cooperative efforts of the Department, Saint Francis, PromiseShip and our provider partners, we have been able to maintain quality, effective services that provide safety and support for children and families in the ESA."

The town hall sessions are as follows:

Thursday, December 12

 First United Methodist Church

7020 Cass St.

Omaha, NE 68132      

Session #1:  4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Session #2:  6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

The Department signed a five-year contract with Saint Francis in July to provide child welfare case management services, including family preservation, service coordination, foster care, adoption and resource family recruitment.

The phased transition, transferring case management responsibilities to Saint Francis, began in October and will be completed this month.


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