Nebraska Inspector General recommends ending foster care contract with Saint Francis

Report: Pilot project demonstrates ‘unacceptable risk in the privatization of case management’
A new report in regards to ending privatized child welfare in Nebraska was released from the Inspector General.
Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 12:17 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - More than three weeks after Saint Francis Ministries child welfare workers protested, the Nebraska Inspector General’s office issued a scathing report on a foster care pilot program, recommending its contract be canceled.

“The privatization of case management — a core government function — has not been successful,” a news release from the Inspector General’s Office states.

Citing failure to meet contractual requirements like workers’ caseload ratios, monthly visits with children, and timely case documentation, Thurdsay’s report recommends the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services terminate the Eastern Service Area pilot project contract with Saint Francis Ministries.

“The Eastern Service Area Pilot Project has demonstrated unacceptable risk in the privatization of case management,” the release states.

According to the report, numerous evaluations of the project have determined that privatizing the state’s foster care case management didn’t improve services and, in fact, demonstrated “significant risk of disruption, instability, and financial uncertainty.”

“We do not doubt the dedication of Saint Francis and its workers to the mission of serving children,” Inspector General Jennifer Carter said in Thursday’s release. “But Saint Francis has failed to do its job in consequential ways that affect children and families. The state should not continue to spend millions of public dollars on this contract when Saint Francis is not meeting its terms.”

Read the full OIG report

Reporter Marlo Lundak contributed to this report.

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