DHHS Highlights Newsletter: Volume 2 Issue 3

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Friday, March 20, 2015 | Vol. 2, No. 3

DHHS’ Highlights is published by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services for those interested in the latest information on health and human services issues. Please subscribe to or share the newsletter by clicking on the "Share" button.

DHHS’ Child Welfare Progress Praised in Recent Editorial

CFS.annual report

In January Nebraska’s child welfare system met all six of its federal standards for the first time. This, and other advances in the state’s child welfare system, were recently highlighted in an Omaha World-Herald editorial.

The editorial noted increased stability in the system which was credited to: better methods of assessing safety conditions upfront, stronger monitoring of cases, and improved coordination among stakeholders including DHHS' Division of Children and Family Services and the Nebraska Families Collaborative (NFC) which handles Omaha child welfare cases.

The editorial urged Nebraskans to “applaud the significant progress on child welfare while acknowledging the many challenges that remain.”

Check out the CFS section of the Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Report to learn more about the progress the division is making in child welfare and other areas.

Norfolk Veterans’ Home Members Enjoy Trip to Local Farm


Activity staff members at the Norfolk Veterans’ Home (NVH) recently gave NVH members a trip to a local farm to see its horses.

The NVH member pictured here with his wife has always enjoyed horses. His family met him and NVH staff at the farm so they could enjoy the day together.

Along with NVH, DHHS's Division of Veteran's Homes also oversees veterans' homes in Bellevue, Grand Island and Scottsbluff.

Division of Behavioral Health Seeking Award Nominations


The Division of Behavioral Health's Office of Consumer Affairs is seeking nominations for awards to honor behavioral health leaders at the Nebraska Statewide Behavioral Health Conference, May 12-13, in Lincoln.

The award categories are the People’s Award, Recovery Muse Award, Peer Support Champion Award, Recovery is Real Media Award and the Director’s Award.

Nominations are due April 11 and nomination forms are available at the Nebraska Statewide Behavioral Health Conference website.

For more information or to request a nomination form by mail, call the Office of Consumer Affairs Helpline at 1-800-836-7660.

High School Leadership Students Visit DHHS


As part of a leadership program, a group of Omaha high school juniors and their teachers recently visited DHHS to learn more about state government.

The students met with Tony Green, acting director of DHHS’ Division of Children and Family Services, to learn more about our department's programs and services.

The high school leadership program is coordinated by Paul Landow, an assistant professor of Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Tony Green, acting director of DHHS' Division of Children and Family Services, meets with high school students at the Nebraska State Office Building in Lincoln, March 18.

Division of Behavioral Health Using Surveys to Gather Feedback from Consumers


The Division of Behavioral Health (BH) Office of Consumer Affairs has started conducting its annual behavioral health consumer surveys.

A random sampling of people who received mental health or substance abuse disorder services from BH-funded, behavioral health providers will receive a survey call.

“The feedback provides us with suggestions for improving services, so I encourage people to complete the survey,” said Sheri Dawson, acting director of BH.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Bureau of Sociological Research is helping with the survey which runs through August.

Information from individual respondents will be kept confidential and no one will be asked for personal information, such as their name or Social Security number.

Results from these surveys will be available by December.

Click here for the 2014 Division of Behavioral Health Consumer Survey results.

Division of Public Health and the Nebraska Department of Education Provide Oral Health Kits


DHHS Division of Public Health employees recently teamed up with Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) staff to provide oral health kits for every child enrolled in Early Head Start and Head Start programs in Nebraska.

They created about 6,000 oral health kits that included a child toothbrush, an adult toothbrush, toothpaste and a two-minute timer as well as important information on preventing dental decay.

The kits were delivered to Head Start educators during February's National Children’s Dental Health Month.

Pictured from left: Holly Johnson, NDE; Mai Dang, DHHS; Joan Luebbers, NDE; Tiffany Mullison, DHHS; and Dr. Charles 'Fritz' Craft, DHHS.

Acting CFS Director Recommends Contract Extension for Nebraska Families Collaborative

Tony Green, acting director of DHHS’ Division of Children and Family Services, has recommended lawmakers approve a contract extension for Nebraska Families Collaborative (NFC) a non-profit which manages Omaha-area child welfare cases.

NFC’s contract with DHHS expires June 30 and Green recently wrote a letter to lawmakers requesting that contract be extended for another year.

Green believes a contract extension for NFC would give child welfare stakeholders more time to develop the best course of action for the future.