On Oct. 8, people in the Grand Island area who have had some contact with public or private child welfare agencies will have an opportunity to tell their stories to researchers conducting a study for the Nebraska Legislature.
The Legislature has contracted with a national consulting firm, Hornby Zeller Associates Inc., to conduct a follow-up to its earlier study on child welfare privatization.
The study will compare the case management performance of the Nebraska Family Collaborative in the Omaha area with that of the Department of Health and Human Services elsewhere in the state. The result will be a report, due at the end of the calendar year, analyzing whether the management of child welfare cases should be carried out by a public or a private agency.
As part of its research, Hornby Zeller wants to hear from current and former clients, foster parents, relative caregivers and anyone else who has had contact with the child welfare system within the past couple of years.
Each individual or family will talk to a single researcher for up to 15 minutes, and all information will be kept in the strictest confidence. The researchers are looking for real-life stories of families’ actual experiences with the child welfare system, whether positive, negative or neutral. Because this is strictly a research project designed to provide information and recommendations to the Legislature on how child welfare services should be organized in the future, Hornby Zeller will not intervene in individual cases in any way.
Anyone wanting to tell the researchers of their experiences with child welfare should call Leona Miles at (518) 273-1614 to make an appointment.