Governor Heineman declines again to comment on the state audit harshly critical of how the Department of Health and Human Services has been handling the transition of child welfare services to the private sector.
Heineman tells reporters he’s not sure when he will feel free to comment on the audit’s findings.
“I don’t know for sure, yet. But I don’t want to prematurely comment till I’ve had a chance to fully review the report, talk to Health and Human Services about several issues,” Heineman responds when asked by a reporter during a news conference. “Ultimately, the focus has to be on the kids and our families; how do we make the system better.”
Heineman says how Nebraska approached child welfare didn’t work in the past. He says the state will seek to move forward on how best to help children and families in the future.
State Auditor Mike Foley outlined the findings of the audit [Download PDF] to a legislative committee Wednesday. The audit discloses the cost of child welfare services grew by 27% since 2009. Foley harshly criticized the Department of Health and Human Services for its lack of documentation and failure to seek public bids for service contracts.