The Office of Dispute Resolution of the Nebraska Administrative Office of the Courts has released a Request for Proposal (RFP) for Evaluating Nebraska’s Parenting Act: Making a difference for children and families.
Nebraska’s Parenting Act, originally enacted in 2007, is undergoing a planned evaluation beginning September 2013 and is currently seeking evaluators to provide an assessment of the effectiveness of Nebraska’s law.
Understanding that the Parenting Act encompasses a set of directives for meeting the best interests of children following separation and divorce, the Administrative Office of the Courts is seeking an evaluation to determine whether the focus on education and parental planning is achieving its goal. One of the key components of the 2007 Parenting Act was to require separating parents to develop a parenting plan. The purpose of creating a parenting plan is to help children experience a healthy adjustment to changes that occur with separation and divorce. The process and effort made by parents to create a plan helps put the child at the center of the parents’ decisions.
Former Speaker of the Legislature Mike Flood, who sponsored the 2007 Parenting Act, initiated the evaluation effort with Chief Justice Mike Heavican in 2011. Some of the questions prompting an evaluation include: Of the custody cases filed, how many parents are creating a parenting plan on their own? Through mediation? Are child custody and parenting time cases in fact being resolved in a better manner? Is specialized ADR and screening making a positive impact on parents? children? court process? Does parenting information distributed by clerks of district court impact outcomes? Does mandatory parenting education impact outcomes? What kind of impact does the mediation process have on durability of the parenting plan? On court process? Is the Act serving the best interests of children?
The Office of Dispute Resolution worked with consultant Dr. Michael Saini and a panel of Nebraska and national experts in family law and child and family dynamics to create the Parenting Evaluation Protocol, which was completed in late 2012. The Protocol defines the Parenting Act’s elements, process and outcome measures to be evaluated by the successful bidder.
The Office of Dispute Resolution will hold an optional bidders’ conference call on June 21, 2013, with a mandatory letter of intent due July 10, 2013. All bids are due July 31, 2013.
More information on the RFP process is available by contacting Debora Brownyard, Office of Dispute Resolution at 402-471-2766 or checking information below: