Last private contractor will take over KVC cases

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February 23rd, 2012

Omaha, NE – Foster children in Douglas and Sarpy Counties will now be moved to Nebraska’s last remaining private contractor in child welfare.

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Kerry Winterer, Department of Health and Human Services CEO. (Photo courtesy DHHS)

Nebraska began privatizing child welfare in 2009. And it’s been a rocky road. At first, the state contracted with five private agencies to manage child welfare cases. But pretty quickly, it was down to two. Three contractors dropped out in 2010. And yesterday, a fourth, KVC Behavioral Healthcare, announced it was dropping out too – and soon. The contract will end in less than a week, on March 1st.

All four contractors have cited inadequate payment by the state as major reasons for dropping out.

Now, 3,600 children will need to be moved to a new agency. Today, the Department of Health and Human Services said instead of going to the state, most of those children will move to the last remaining private agency, Nebraska Families Collaborative.

In a statement, Kerry Winterer, the CEO of DHHS said the agreement with NFC is “good news” and will help “stabilize the system.”

Dave Newell, the President of NFC said his agency’s management of these services is “what’s best for kids and families.” He added NFC will hire employees from KVC in order “to minimize any disruption.”

The move means all foster children in Douglas and Sarpy counties will now be served by NFC. The rest of the children in the system across the state will be served by DHHS.

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