43-4201. Legislative findings, declarations, and intent.

(1) The Legislature finds and declares that:

(a) The Health and Human Services Committee of the Legislature documented serious problems with the child welfare system in its 2011 report of the study that was conducted under Legislative Resolution 37, One Hundred Second Legislature, First Session, 2011;

(b) Improving the safety and well-being of Nebraska's children and families is a critical priority which must guide policy decisions in a variety of areas;

(c) To improve the safety and well-being of children and families in Nebraska, the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government must work together to ensure:

(i) The integration, coordination, and accessibility of all services provided to children and families by the state, whether directly or pursuant to contract;

(ii) Reasonable access to appropriate services statewide and efficiency in service delivery; and

(iii) The availability of accurate and complete data as well as ongoing data analysis to identify important trends and problems as they arise; and

(d) As the primary state agency serving children and families, the Department of Health and Human Services must exemplify leadership, responsiveness, transparency, and efficiency and program managers within the agency must strive cooperatively to ensure that their programs view the needs of children and families comprehensively as a system rather than individually in isolation, including pooling funding when possible and appropriate.

(2) It is the intent of the Legislature in creating the Nebraska Children's Commission to provide for the needs identified in subsection (1) of this section, to provide strategic priorities for research or policy development within the child welfare system and juvenile justice system, and to provide a structure to the commission that maintains the framework of the three branches of government and their respective powers and duties.

Source:Laws 2012, LB821, § 1; Laws 2019, LB600, § 3.