A new report claims that Nebraska removes far too many children from their home, damaging the family relationship and burdening the state unnecessarily.
Executive Director Richard Wexler with the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform told a news conference at the Capitol that its report indicates the state is too quick to take children from their parents.
“The biggest single problem in child welfare nationwide and it is reflected in data from Nebraska is the confusion of family poverty with neglect,” according to Wexler.
Wexler claimed that state statutes enforce the image that poverty equals neglect, leading to the unneeded removal of children from their homes. The report also states that if a child isn’t returned to their home soon, a distance develops between the child and the family making reunification difficult.
[Click here for details on the NCCPR report]
In January, about 2-Thousand, 800 children were in the child welfare system in Nebraska.
Wexler said Nebraska removes children from the home at one of the highest rates of any state. Wexler asserted that the state doesn’t need to take such drastic action to help children who might be in trouble in their family setting.
“Not only does Nebraska take too many children and hold them for too long; if you are going to take a child, at least place that child with a family, preferably a relative,” Wexler said. “But, Nebraska underuses kinship care, placement with relatives, and greatly overuses the worst form of care, which is group homes and institutions.”
Wexler says Nebraska needs to remove fewer children and place more of the children it does remove in the homes of relatives.
AUDIO: National Coalition for Child Protection Reform news conference [21 min.]