YRTC changes approved

A bill establishing educational standards at youth rehabilitation and treatment centers in Nebraska passed May 20.

LB428, introduced by the Health and Human Services Committee, requires that YRTC residents receive educational opportunities equivalent to those offered to students at Nebraska public schools. Under the bill, each YRTC must maintain accreditation by the state Board of Education and provide age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate educational programs.

The measure includes provisions of four other bills, all introduced by the committee:
• LB425, which requires the state Department of Health and Human Services to hire a consultant to perform a needs assessment and cost analysis for an inpatient adolescent psychiatric unit at the Lincoln Regional Center. The assessment must be submitted to the committee by Dec. 1, 2021;
• LB427, which prohibits DHHS from delaying inpatient or subacute substance abuse or behavioral health residential treatment for youth under the jurisdiction of a juvenile court when such treatment has been determined necessary after the youth’s commitment to the state Office of Juvenile Services or has been ordered by a juvenile court;
• LB429, which requires DHHS to notify the Legislature quarterly of substantial changes it intends to make to facilities and programs; and
• LB570, which requires that the Legislature complete an evaluation of the state’s privatization of child welfare case management in the eastern service area by Dec. 31, 2021, and approve hiring a consultant to assist in the evaluation.

Senators passed LB428 on a 49-0 vote.

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