Three Branches of Nebraska State Government Kick Off LB 1173 Child and Family Well-Being Working Group

News Release
For Immediate Release: 2/10/2023

Barb Tyler, Office of Communications, (531) 530-7484,


Pictures of the event: Well-Being Meeting #1, Well-Being Meeting #2, Well-Being Meeting #3, Well-Being Meeting #4, Well-Being Meeting #5, Well-Being Meeting #6

Lincoln – On Wednesday, February 8, 2023, Chief Justice Michael Heavican, Health and Human Services (HHS) Legislative Committee Chairman and Senator Ben Hansen, and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) CEO Dannette R. Smith, kicked off the first meeting of the LB1173 Child and Family Well-Being Working Group.

LB1173, a bill that was passed unanimously in the legislature last year, tasks the three branches of state government to work together to advance a practice and finance model to transform child and family well-being in Nebraska. The workgroup is required to submit a written framework to the HHS Legislative Committee by December 1, 2023. The meeting on February 8 began the process of fact-finding and garnering feedback from stakeholders to begin molding the new transformative model.

The meeting was held at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Omaha. Participants included individuals with lived experience, judges, private child welfare providers, foster care providers and parents, child advocacy centers, law enforcement, and county attorneys in addition to other stakeholders.

“Improving the lives of children and families is so important that it has brought together all three branches of Nebraska's state government," said Chief Justice Michael Heavican. “I am excited to begin working on this important and transformative plan."

“Last year, the legislature's unanimous vote signaled that improving the lives of children and families is a top priority of the legislative branch, said HHS Chairman and Senator Ben Hansen. “This unprecedented cooperation between the three branches ensures that everything is on the table to help Nebraska's children and families."

“At DHHS, we work to empower people to live their best lives and I cannot think of a more important way to achieve that mission than working with our partners in the judiciary and legislature to implement the goals of LB1173," said Dannette R. Smith.

More meetings are currently being scheduled to listen to ideas and hear feedback from stakeholders throughout the state. For information on LB1173, please visit ​

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