A Measure of Progress

A Measure of Progress

October 11, 2012 | by  | Omaha World-Herald

In 2009, Nebraska ranked second in the nation in the number of children removed from their homes due to child welfare issues. Now, due to more reviews of cases involving children who have lived at home for 60 days or more without problems and also due to the Structured Decision Making® (SDM) system, the number of state wards in Nebraska has dramatically decreased. SDM provides a guideline for social workers and state officials to determine whether or not a child should be removed from a home and placed in foster care.

In 2009, Nebraska ranked second in the nation in the number of children removed from their homes due to child welfare issues. Now, due to more reviews of cases involving children who have lived at home for 60 days or more without problems and also due to the Structured Decision Making® (SDM) system, the number of state wards in Nebraska has dramatically decreased. SDM provides a guideline for social workers and state officials to determine whether or not a child should be removed from a home and placed in foster care. For Nebraska, the next step in continuing the reduction of state wards is to address less serious problems regarding child welfare via the use of “differential response.” Although the number of state wards in Nebraska is still above average, SDM has improved the state’s response to child welfare issues.