In December of 2022, The Stephen Group was selected by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to be the state’s child welfare subject matter consultant for the project mandated under LB1173, a bill that tasks the three branches of state government in Nebraska to work together to advance a practice and finance model to transform child and family well-being in Nebraska. The legislation required the Work Group to submit a written framework to the HHS Legislative Committee by December 1, 2023.

The Legislature determined that this comprehensive transformation will require an integrated model addressing all aspects of the system and strong partnerships among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government and community stakeholders.

In undertaking their responsibilities, the 1173 Work Group consulted with a wide range of stakeholders since February of 2023. Additionally, the Work Group recognizes that several initiatives have taken place in Nebraska over the past several years related to child welfare and have sought to build upon these past efforts. This broad and diverse array of stakeholders and previous efforts provided information essential to the development of the 1173 Draft Practice and Finance models for the state of Nebraska child welfare system.

The result is a framework for practice and finance that is truly intersectoral and comprehensive, reflecting the diverse viewpoints, findings, and experiences of child welfare practitioners, executive agency leadership, Tribal agencies and individuals, individuals with lived experience in the child welfare system, public health professionals, and national policy experts.