Gov. Ricketts Recognizes State Teammates Working to Promote Child Welfare

Gov. Ricketts Recognizes State Teammates Working to Promote Child Welfare
From Left to Right: Laura Opfer, Deputy Director for CFS Policy and Legislative Services; Kayla Drummond, Child and Family Services Specialist; Dr. Alger Studstill, CFS Deputy Director; Stephanie Beasley, CFS Director; Gov. Ricketts; RJ Wollenburg (holding proclamation), Child and Family Services Specialist; and Christina Zermeno, Child and Family Services Specialist
September 27th, 2022 | Justin Pinkerman Executive Writer Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

LINCOLN – On Tuesday, Governor Pete Ricketts and leaders in the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recognized child welfare specialists at a proclamation signing ceremony at the State Capitol.

Gov. Ricketts proclaimed September 2022 as “Child Welfare Workforce Development Month” in appreciation of the great work being done by State teammates, agencies, and partners to provide critical services to children and families in Nebraska.  He credited leaders across the state for helping Nebraska to rank #8 nationally in Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2022 state rankings of child well-being.  Nebraska ranks higher than any neighboring state and is the top state in America in the category of children’s economic well-being.

“Nebraskans working in child welfare provide great service to kids in our state,” said Gov. Ricketts.  “Their compassionate care is a big reason why Nebraska regularly ranks among the top states in America for child welfare.  Thank you to State teammates, Bring Up Nebraska, and the many other partners across Nebraska who are investing in the success and well-being of our children.” 

During today’s news conference, Stephanie Beasley, Director of the DHHS Division of Children and Family Services, announced new programs beginning October 1st to provide enhanced service to Nebraskans.  They include:

  • Family-Centered Treatment: a 4-6 month home-based trauma treatment program that works to identify the core issues facing the family within the home by increasing positive parenting skills and providing therapeutic services to address mental health needs and substance use.
  • Healthy Families America: a home visiting program for new and expecting families with children who are at risk for maltreatment.
  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: a therapeutic program for children and adolescents who have symptoms associated with trauma exposure.
  • Familias Unidas: a family-centered intervention that works to prevent substance use and risky sexual behavior among Hispanic adolescents and empowers parents by enhancing communication and improving parenting skills.

Dr. Alger Studstill, Deputy Director of the Division of Children and Family Services (CFS), overviewed his agency’s successful work to recruit and retain teammates.  From March to July 2022, DHHS hired 105 new child welfare specialists in its Eastern Service Area to strengthen its team.  Dr. Studstill spoke about his positive experiences working on the front lines of child welfare and invited Nebraskans to consider a career with DHHS.  Job postings can be found at statejobs.nebraska.gov.

Watch video of today’s ceremony by clicking here.    

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