Nebraska state officials are looking for new ways to help youths who enter the child welfare system, particularly in situations involving
family drug use, but challenges remain in rural areas that lack treatment services.
State officials have hired more workers to reduce child welfare caseloads, a common complaint that has led to a high employee turnover rate. They also have taken steps to cut the number of children who are removed from their homes, focusing instead on helping parents.
Gov. Pete Ricketts and state lawmakers approved an additional $35 million this year to boost child welfare services after an uptick in children entering the system because of family drug use. Ricketts also created a state task force to examine the problem.