Foster care changes approved

Lawmakers approved a bill April 5 addressing foster care needs in Nebraska.

Under LB820, introduced by the Health and Human Services Committee, the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is required to apply for a federal waiver for a foster care demonstration project by Sept. 30, 2013.

The bill also requires DHHS to create a Foster Care Reimbursement Committee to develop a statewide standard rate structure for children in foster care and require licensure of all foster parents not related to a child by blood, marriage or adoption.

Finally, the bill will provide a $3.10 rate increase for foster parents starting July 1, 2013. A 25 cent administrative fee authorized in the bill for foster care agencies will be in addition to the foster parent payment increase, rather than deducted from it.

LB820 passed 49-0.

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