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(Neb)-New Effort Focused On Community Resources For Troubled Youth

By: John Axtell Posted at: 09/26/2017 07:40 AM
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, First Lady Susanne Shore, and community leaders from across the state have officially launched Bring Up Nebraska - a statewide effort to strengthen local services with the goal of keeping children out of the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

     The governor says Bring Up Nebraska is a great example of people, institutions, and voluntary organizations coming together to help neighbors and the most vulnerable Nebraskans by focusing on prevention to help families avoid potential crises and overcome challenges.

     RIcketts says local communities are best situated to understand their own strengths, and Bring Up Nebraska leverages those resources to give local communities the ability to develop long-term plans using the latest strategies to help families in need.

     Shore says she wants Nebraska's local community approach to be a model for other states to follow when it comes to preventing problems from becoming a crisis for vulnerable families and children, calling on residents to look at every child as "not the state's responsibility or Washington's concern but one of our own kids."
       5,004 Nebraska children and youth were in out-of-home care on March 31st and 46% of state wards ages 0-5 have at least one parent who was also a state ward.

     Jennifer Skala, Senior VP at Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, calls Bring Up Nebraska "a statewide effort to really shine a light on the need for prevention while bringing more support to communities and letting communities lead their local prevention efforts."

        11 locally-led groups are addressing the needs of many families as part of Bring Up Nebraska including the Panhandle Partnership, which serves all 11 Panhandle counties, but more communities and organizations are expected to join in the months to come.


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