Nebraska: Child Welfare Inspector General Speaks Out

Nebraska families involved with Child and Family Services now have an “Inspector General” to take their concerns to.

Julie Rodgers, Nebraska's Child Welfare Inspector General

Julie Rodgers, Nebraska’s Child Welfare Inspector General

Julie Rogers looks like an approachable and friendly person.

Her position as Child Welfare Inspector General was created about six months ago to “investigate, audit, inspect, and review” the child welfare system.

Why would the Nebraska legislator create such a position?

Perhaps it is because legislators there are tired of getting hundreds of complaints from child welfare victim families, and they’ve decided to direct all the discontent onto the shoulders of a new employee.

Whether her inspections will result in positive change is now unknown. In the past I’ve seen many instances of inspection end with that alone. Positive change is rarely made because federal mandates matched with human corruption in the CPS systems keep the child welfare industry operating at a level that is unfair and harmful to families.

I would like to think this is a positive trend for a better future for families, wouldn’t you?

Time will tell the full story.

On Wednesday, January 16, 2013, Julie Rogers reported to the Nebraska legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee for the first time.

She recommended that families be treated fairly, and that social workers be better trained to clearly explain to families what they need to do to complete services. Apparently many people who contacted her appeared to be confused about what was going on. That’s typical of CPS… because they target families with little to no experience in the court systems, without lawyers and without money to hire good lawyers.

A typical CPS victim family is living below poverty level. Their main concerns have been to take care of their children and make enough money to pay bills each month. They don’t know what the US Constitution says and have never studied laws about child welfare, thus, they are no match for child welfare social workers whose work life revolves around court cases and separation of children from their families. So long as families are kept confused and “in the dark” about what’s going on, the social workers have a great advantage over them when they go to court.

Julie Rodgers, however, recommends the opposite. She says families have a right to clear and specific information so they can learn how to be successful. She also says case documentation should be improved as she found that some documents are missing from the case files. She’s also found documents filed without being completed.

She had specific concerns about “voluntary cases” which are those in which no court is involved. In other words, if a caseworker can talk a parent into signing a “safety plan” and then place the children elsewhere without the court’s involvement, that’s considered “voluntary” by the state. Unfortunately, many of the parents who sign these plans feel coerced and threatened with court involvement. From the parents’ point of view, they don’t voluntarily want to have their children live elsewhere so they can get services they don’t want, and in some cases, don’t really need.

Julie Rogers’ concerns about “voluntary cases” were that parents didn’t know their cases were considered “voluntary,” they didn’t know their rights, they didn’t understand what was excpected of them, rights were being infringed, and oversight was lacking.

Source: Child welfare inspector general lists concerns by JoAnne Young, published in the Lincoln Star Journal on January 31, 2013.

The article also cited ongoing issues with Guardian Ad-Litem attorneys, although since 2010 Nebraska has required them to actually meet with the children they are appointed to represent.

Julie Rodgers was appointed to her position by Marshall Lux, Nebraska Ombudsman, with the approval of Senator Kathy Campbell, who chairs Nebraska’s Health and Human Services Committee, and Senator John Wightman, chairman of the legislature’s Executive Board. Rodgers has extensive experience as a lawyer involved with child welfare issues and was employed as the community planning coordinator at the Juvenile Justice Institute at the University of Nebraska, in Omaha. She’s also been a Madison County public defender and a policy analist with the Nebraska Community Corrections Council.

Source: Child welfare inspector general named by JoAnne Young, published in the Lincoln Star Journal on June 19, 2012.

Nebraska Dept. of Children and Family Services – doesn’t list Julie Rogers!

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  1. the sherriff says

    Lisa Palmer – Private Attorney in the state of Georgia charges $10,000 or maybe more to take cases – does this make sense for parents who are in this system because the majority of them are poor financially and academically

  2. joel says

    my sisters two boys are in a nebraska fosrter home but not in the same home the oldes boy is 9 we have had 6 workers sense july 22 2012 me and my mom had the two boy tell cps started to point fingers at us the oldes boy was been moved 10 times from foster home to foster home he was been pushed betting up bythese foster people and cps just keeps moving the boy if any one that reads this and knows how to help me get him back with his grams

  3. concerned grandparent says

    Oh yes, By the way, Julie Rodgers CONGRATULATIONS on your new position and I hope that that you make a world of difference in the state of Nebraska and it carries on to all the rest of our states.

  4. concerned grandparent says

    I have to agree with both your comments. It is the same here in WV. My grandchildren were in foster care and they did everything they could to keep those children from us. The last foster woman {a single parent divorced} that took care of my four grandchildren mistreated them severely and it was just overlooked as though nothing was going on there. even lawyers knew what was going on in her home. Guess what she is still on of the favorite picks of foster care. I could not even get an appointment with our governor to discuss this case. Luckily after going totally broke and 15 months later I adopted my four girls. If there is something or any suggestions how to get across to our state, please feel free to comment. Also this lady was getting 2400.00 monthly, plus food stamps, wic,, medical card, clothing vouchers and who knows what else, oh yeah BIG BIG MONEY ON TAXES….

  5. Concerned Citizen says

    What Kevin says about Contra Costa County goes for Los Angeles County. The whole system is set up to ensure that families lose and CPS wins. The attorneys assigned to the kids, the judges who sit on the bench, attorneys for the parent(s), the CPS Social Worker, the County attorneys…all are paid from the same over-flowing pot of money supplied by the Federal Government. No one, and I mean NO ONE listens to the family. CPS can commit perjury with impunity. Family members are misquoted and lied about and have absolutely no say when in court. Reunification is a joke! CPS does not want reunification because they get paid for the number of kids they have on their books. As an example of CPS errors – urine tests, which show current drug use, are the.only test they rely on for drug use. We paid, out of our own pocket, for a hair follicle test, which shows drug use for the past several months. This more complete test showed NO prior drug use. Was it used in court? NOPE! It didn’t serve their purpose. Were we allowed to present the findings in court of this more complete drug test. NOPE!
    Also, did you know that 8 bookcases filled with books is considered “clutter” by CPS? The tops of the bookcases held games for family nights…all clutter by CPS’s standars.
    How can families compete against this one-sided fight?

  6. kevin says

    This corruption in the system doesn’t end with cps, it goes all the way to the top!
    The juvenile court in Contra Costa County California doesn’t care about the truth in cases because it supports CPS. They support each other to exist. If the court found lies in the dependancy reports, it continues its case against you.
    The judges listen to the therapists that testify in court and ignore the facts. If CPS is found to be fabricating lies, they don’t want to admit what has happened. Why would they admit that the agency that brings all the cases to them lies. They would have to close the court and judges and lawyers would be unemployed!

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