LINCOLN — Nebraska should stick with its privatization of child welfare and focus on other reforms in the system, a new Platte Institute study has concluded.
The study, released Wednesday, was done by Lisa Snell of the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank based in California.
Speaking at a press conference, Snell argued against having the state take back responsibility for managing the cases of abused and neglected children.
Instead, she said, lawmakers should make changes that would stabilize the child welfare system and lead to better outcomes for children, regardless of who handles case management.
Among those changes, Snell recommended the state seek a waiver allowing federal foster care funds to be used for more in-home services.
Such waivers have helped Florida and Illinois improve their child welfare systems and reduce the number of children in foster care.
Snell's recommendations are at odds with some put forth by the Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee after an investigation into Nebraska's two-year-old experiment in child welfare privatization.
The committee called for the state to take back case management duties from the state's two private contractors.
The contractors oversee all child welfare and juvenile justice cases in the Omaha area and southeast Nebraska, including Lincoln.
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