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Foster Care Review Office talks equity in foster care system

Posted at 7:46 AM, Nov 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-17 08:46:05-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The state of Nebraska's foster care system has some community members concerned for the children in it. The Foster Care Review Office is sharing its insight.

In a discussion hosted by the Movement in Omaha for Racial Equity, they said they can't know each child's story, but believe the data can give them an idea of what children are facing.

"We may not have all the answers or all the insights," said Heather Wood, research director with the review board. "We certainly have a lot of data to help start conversations and to be able to have a framework of being able to show something that needs to be addressed."

They're finding that children of color, Native American and non-Hispanic Black children specifically, face higher rates of out-of-home placement.

If you look at the group as a whole, over half of the children are taken out of homes because of neglect. Parental drug use and unsafe housing follow as the next leading causes of displacement.

The review office says they'd like to learn more about the other sides of the picture.

"What we have on even things like caseworker or race-ethnicity of the placements, we don't have that information unless our staff end up coming upon it," Wood said. "But we don't have it even captured then."

The office is looking for more input from the community and from the families impacted by the system.

You can find ways to get involved on their website.

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