Health and Human Services

Child welfare agency accreditation bill stalls

A motion was offered April 12 to bracket a bill designed to provide oversight of certain aspects of Nebraska’s child welfare reform efforts.

Introduced by Omaha Senator Gwen Howard, LB95 would require any lead agency contracting with the state Department of Health and Human Services to be accredited by a national accrediting entity, within 18 months of entering into a contract with HHS or of the bill’s passage, with respect to out-of-home services provided to those under the age of 19.

As amended on general file, the bill also would prohibit the department, until June 1, 2012, from entering into any contract with a new lead agency for service coordination or case management in an area of the state where services previously were provided through a contract with Boys and Girls Home. HHS would be required to provide services to those areas during the moratorium.

Lincoln Sen. Cathy Campbell, chairperson of the Health and Human Service Committee, offered the motion to bracket the bill until Jan. 4, 2012. She said Gov. Dave Heineman informed the committee that HHS will voluntarily implement the moratorium outlined in the bill and cooperate fully with a legislative review of reform efforts.

The Legislature adjourned without taking action on the pending bracket motion.

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