FIJ Quarterly - Summer 2022 Edition

Creating a Prevention Track for Hotline Calls According to Casey Family Programs, there will be better youth well-being outcomes, which include physical and mental health and school achievement, when children in care are placed with family members or individuals known to them. 13 While CFS has consistently placed children in a relative/ kinship setting (51.8 percent) according to the Nebraska Foster Care Review Office, 14 the question CFS is now working to address—how can we embed prevention-based services in the community so that children and families never have to become known to our system? With Nebraska’s approved Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) plan, CFS is currently exploring options to develop a “prevention track” that will create a tiered response to how Nebraska handles calls to the hotline. This will allow for a worker to assess the child(ren) and/or families’ needs and make appropriate referrals for FFPSA services. If there is a need for additional supports and oversight, then the case can be screened for Alternative Response. Should there be a paramount concern for child safety, the case would be screened for a traditional response to assess for safety. Bold Systemic Solutions that Acknowledge Historical Harm and Support Community-Based Services at the Level of Law and Policy Sarah Helvey and Schalisha Walker Nebraska Appleseed Despite this powerful shift in Nebraska to move to a more community-owned child and family well- being system, as highlighted in the Child Well-Being model, it is imperative that these major shifts acknowledge the historical context within the communities they touch. Specifically, as a starting point, it is necessary to look at the historical and generational trauma that results from government systems that separate families and institutionalize racism. Then, as we look toward solutions, we must acknowledge that ultimately, the system still causes harm, and additional, more wholesale, replacements are needed. Historical and Ongoing Harm and the Need for More Radical Re-Imagining Nebraska’s History of Family Separation and Family Regulation Nebraska’s history with racially targeted family separation, regulation, and poverty policy runs deep, and this lineage can still be seen today in disparities in child welfare and public benefits systems. Indeed, Omaha, the birthplace of Malcolm X and the jurisdiction of the case of Chief Standing Bear, 15 was ranked number one in the nation in the percentage of black children in poverty in 2007. 16 The Pine Ridge Reservation, which borders Nebraska in South Dakota, was within the poorest county in the U.S. in 1989, and was still among the top 25 poorest counties in the 2020 Census. 17 From 1884 to 1934, the United States government ran the Genoa U.S. Indian Industrial School in ______________ 13 Casey Family Programs. The Impact of Placement with Family on Safety, Permanency, and Well-Being . Nov. 2018, p. 6. 14 “Of the 3,411 children placed in family-like settings, 51.8% were in a relative or kinship placement.” Nebraska Foster Care Review Office (FCRO). 2021 Annual Report . Sept. 2021, p. 32. 16 Cordes, Henry J., Gonzalez, Cindy, and Grace, Erin. "Omaha in Black and White: Poverty amid prosperity." Omaha World- Herald . 15 April 2007. 5b7e-11e7-9ef2-fbb4aa5eefd6.html. Accessed 1 May, 2020. Annual%20Report-FCRO-September.pdf. Accessed 3 May 2022. 15 U.S. ex Rel. Standing Bear v. Crook , 25 F. Cas. 695 (D. Neb. 1879). 17 U.S. Census Bureau. The 100 Poorest Counties in the United States: 1979 and 1989 . tables/time-series/dec/cph-series/cph-l/cph-l-184.html. Accessed 4 May 2022.; U.S. Census Bureau. SAIPE State and County Estimates for 2020: U.S. and All States and Counties . saipe/2020-state-and-county.html; Accessed 4 May 2022.

FIJ Quarterly | Summer 2022 | 111

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