Juvenile service project passed

Senators passed a bill May 29 that expands the Nebraska Juvenile Service Delivery Project statewide through a three-step process beginning July 1, 2013.

Under LB561, introduced by Omaha Sen. Brad Ashford, the Office of Probation Administration will take over the community supervision, juvenile parole and evaluation duties currently held by the Office of Juvenile Services.

The bill also will require the state Department of Health and Human Services to develop a model alternative response to reports of child abuse or neglect under the Child Protection Act. Alternative response is a practice that handles low-risk child welfare cases by empowering families to build on their strengths, rather than criminally investigating them or placing them on the Child Abuse and Neglect Register.

Under the bill, the model must include costs, eligibility, procedures and assessment protocols necessary for the implementation of alternative response. The department is required to provide the model in a report to the Nebraska Children’s Commission by Nov. 1 and the commission is required to electronically submit the report to the Legislature by Dec. 15.

The bill was passed with an emergency clause on a 44-1 vote.

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