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Nebraska’s Child Welfare System Still Far From Perfect

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Julie Rogers is Nebraska’s inspector general:

“When bad things happen to kids who are system-involved, we get notice of those bad things,” Rogers said.

In her small office across the street from the Capitol she poured over her department’s latest annual report released in September. It’s highlighted 22 cases in which Nebraska children involved in the state’s care died or were seriously injured in the past three years. Last month, her department announced an investigation into whether adequate steps were being taken by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to prevent and respond to sexual abuse.

“We noticed that there were quite a few – 36 in the past three years – reports of sexual abuse of kids who are system involved,” Rogers said. “That rose to the level of opening a full investigation and seeing if there are gaps in the system, if there are things the system can do to improve so we can prevent that from happening.”

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