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A Concerned Citizen's Letter

Editor’s Note: We received this email from a concerned citizen who wanted us to share the message.  There is also an article in the LJS about the state giving KVC more responsibility for child welfare in Nebraska.  We suggest skimming the “Discussion” section after reading the article.

If you look (I mean search thoroughly) the HHS website, you will find a press release that says the Department of Health and Human Services are going to start transitioning their services to an outside contractor, KVC.  This is significant for five reasons:

(1) The state will begin laying off state case workers.  The first layoff will be by October 31st.  All layoffs will be complete by January 31st.  This was not discussed in their press release.  And no one will say how many caseworkers will be laid off.  All or 5, no one, even the caseworkers and the State Ombudsman Office, knows.

(2) Both HHS and KVC workers are freaking out.  HHS workers because they will lose their jobs.  KVC worker because they are UNTRAINED AND UNQUALIFIED TO DO THIS WORK.

(3) KVC is not known for doing their work well. They have a hard time paying parents on time and paying other CPS workers or contractors when they are supposed to.  No one who is involved with CPS has positive things to say about how they conduct their business.

(4) They are one of the last two of five contractors who began to contract out services for HHS. The other three contractors have bailed out on their contracts because they could not cost effectively make these contracts work.  If a majority of businesses cannot make a situation work, then that means the last businesses are either geniuses at figuring out how to make this work or they are cutting corners and doing less than they should to make the bottom line work. Every indication is that KVC is the later, not the former.

(5) The governor just outsourced CPS. There is a reason this work is conducted by the state, where the bottom line does not dictate the type, length or quality of service.  If a business does this work for the state, I see no way that children are going to benefit from workers whose direction by their supervisors will be “provide a service, but not too much. We need to make a profit here…”

I am furious that the governor has done this while pretending that protection of children is his goal and paying lip service to importance of this service the state provides when he is more interested in finding ways to cut spending in order to keep his job.

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