Nebraska Revised Statute 43-246

Chapter 43


Code, how construed.

Acknowledging the responsibility of the juvenile court to act to preserve the public peace and security, the Nebraska Juvenile Code shall be construed to effectuate the following:

(1) To assure the rights of all juveniles to care and protection and a safe and stable living environment and to development of their capacities for a healthy personality, physical well-being, and useful citizenship and to protect the public interest;

(2) To provide for the intervention of the juvenile court in the interest of any juvenile who is within the provisions of the Nebraska Juvenile Code, with due regard to parental rights and capacities and the availability of nonjudicial resources;

(3) To remove juveniles who are within the Nebraska Juvenile Code from the criminal justice system whenever possible and to reduce the possibility of their committing future law violations through the provision of social and rehabilitative services to such juveniles and their families;

(4) To offer selected juveniles the opportunity to take direct personal responsibility for their individual actions by reconciling with the victims, or victim surrogates when appropriate, through restorative justice practices and fulfilling the terms of the resulting reparation plan which may require apologies, restitution, community service, or other agreed-upon means of making amends;

(5) To achieve the purposes of subdivisions (1) through (3) of this section in the juvenile's own home whenever possible, separating the juvenile from his or her parent when necessary for his or her welfare, the juvenile's health and safety being of paramount concern, or in the interest of public safety and, when temporary separation is necessary, to consider the developmental needs of the individual juvenile in all placements, to consider relatives as a preferred potential placement resource, and to make reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify the family if required under section 43-283.01;

(6) To promote adoption, guardianship, or other permanent arrangements for children in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services who are unable to return home;

(7) To provide a judicial procedure through which these purposes and goals are accomplished and enforced in which the parties are assured a fair hearing and their constitutional and other legal rights are recognized and enforced;

(8) To assure compliance, in cases involving Indian children, with the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act; and

(9) To make any temporary placement of a juvenile in the least restrictive environment consistent with the best interests of the juvenile and the safety of the community.

Cross References

  • Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act, see section 43-1501.


  • The state Department of Social Services is not required to institute a plan for rehabilitation of a parent whose child has been found to be dependent and neglected. In re Interest of L.C., J.C., and E.C., 235 Neb. 703, 457 N.W.2d 274 (1990).

  • The juvenile code must be liberally construed to effectuate its purpose of securing the best interests of those juveniles who fall within it. In re Interest of R.A. and V.A., 225 Neb. 157, 403 N.W.2d 357 (1987).