Nebraska’s largest provider of child welfare services has decided to end its role as lead agency, giving management of foster care cases back to the state.
KVC Behavioral Healthcare Nebraska and the state couldn’t reach an agreement on money. The state Health and Human Services Department will resume case management duties at the beginning of next month.
KVC spokeswoman Tami Soper says the funding provided hasn’t matched the workload expected by the state.
“Throughout the initiative the challenge has been that the estimated number of the children that we were supposed to serve has been much higher than was originally anticipated and we have continued to try to address that issue,” KVC spokeswoman Tami Soper tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN, “but, it has been an ongoing challenge.”
Soper claims KVC has had to spend $14 million to make up for a shortfall in funding the Families Matter initiative. Though KVC has decided to end case management duties, it will continue to be a provider in about 300 licensed foster homes.
KVC is, by far, the largest provider of child welfare services, serving 4,700 children and their families in 19 southeastern and eastern Nebraska counties, including Lincoln and portions of Omaha. Nebraska Families Collaborative remains in the system, serving Omaha.
DHHS is expected to hire many of the case workers now employed by KVC and will work with KVC subcontractors beginning March 1st. The state headed off an exit by KVC earlier when it agreed to provide an additional $1.8 million in late December.
Three of the five original private child welfare service contractors dropped their contracts with the state in the first year.