Through the Eyes of the Child Team in Merrick County Hosts Free Screening of “Foster”

Through the Eyes of the Child Team in Merrick County Hosts Free Screening of “Foster”

Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Eyes Team

The Through the Eyes of the Child team, led by Judge Stephen Twiss and coordinated by Carrie Rodriguez, Probation Chief in District 5, hosted a free screening of the film“Foster.” Held at the Widman Cinema in Central City, the event’s funding support came from the Merrick Community Foundation.

The HBO documentary is the product of Oscar-winning filmmakers. The film explores the often misunderstood world of foster care through compelling stories from the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, the largest county child welfare agency in the country.

Juvenile Diversion Officer Jordanne McNeff stated, “There is significant lack of foster care homes in our area which leaves a gap in the services we are able to provide. Youth can require foster placement either as the result of an abuse or neglect case or as a result of risks at home or in the community that require an out-of-home placement. If there is not suitable foster home placement for these youth, they often have to be placed in shelters or detention centers.”

Following the screening of “Foster” was a panel session at the Merrick County Activity Center moderated by Mary Ann Harvey, Project Specialist for the Court Improvement Project. The panel featured area experts as well as those who have been involved in fostering in Nebraska: DJ and Michelle Dramse, Deputy Sheriff/St. Francis Ministries Program Director/foster and adoptive parents; Jennifer Kearney, Guardian Ad Litem; Ann Greving Brown, licensed clinical social worker/foster and adoptive parent; Brandee Nice, Department of Health and Human Services Child/Family Services Specialist Supervisor; Julie Smith, Juvenile Justice Programs Specialist; Cassey Davis, former foster youth; and Matt and Mindi Green, foster and adoptive parents. Senator Curt Friesen also attended the event and offered some thoughts at the beginning of the panel. Several foster care agencies were at the event to answer questions and provide the opportunity for people to look into becoming foster parents.