Child Welfare Publications

Child Welfare Publications

Youth and Families

My Adventure Guide To Court! This coloring book is intended for young children (approximately ages 3-7) attending their court hearings.  It contains pictures and activities for the little ones and general information about court for the older ones. Created by Alexandra Ball and University of Nebraska-Lincoln art students. Nebraska Court Improvement Project 2011 Edition.

Ben and Emma Discover Their Super Powers! This comic book was intended for school-age children (approximately ages 6-11) attending their court hearings.  The story focuses on Ben and Emma's "super power" of using their voice to tell the judge, caseworker and GAL how things are going and what they would like to happen. Created by Alexandra Ball.  Cartoon illustrations by Paul Fell. Nebraska Court Improvement Project 2011 Edition.

What Now? Child Welfare Guide This is a comprehensive guide for kids ages 12 and up that find themselves in the Nebraska Child Welfare System. It provides information on what to expect in court and who you can turn to for help.

Guide for Parents What happens after my child is removed from my home?  When should I appear for scheduled hearings? Answers to these questions and more can be found in this guide book for parents. Available in English and Spanish.

First Hearing Guide A guide for parents to explain what happens during the first hearing after a child is removed from their care.

Guide for Foster Parents This 16-page guide educates foster parents about the juvenile court process and their rights in the proceedings.

Help Babies Grow video

A guide for Parents of Young Children Entering the Nebraska Child Welfare Court System is a 13 minute video intended for parents whose young children have recently become involved in the child welfare court system and is narrated by a parent formerly involved in the child welfare court system, a foster parent, a juvenile judge and child psychologist. This video focuses on the importance of child development, why and how the courts get involved and how parents should be involved. To learn more go to Nebraska Early Development Network .

Judicial Bypass Brochure

A guide for pregnant youth under 18 who are considering abortion. If you are under 18 and not emancipated, you are considered a minor for purposes of accessing abortion. If you are under 18 and want an abortion you will need parental consent. But, there are certain situations when a minor may ask a judge to waive parental consent. This is called “judicial bypass.” A judicial bypass is when a judge decides one of your parents doesn’t need to give their permission to your doctor to have an abortion. English version   Spanish version


Professionals and Stakeholders

Education Court Report

The Education Court Report was developed by a multidisciplinary stakeholder group led by TTEOC Project Chair Judge Larry Gendler as part of the Supreme Court Commission on Children in the Courts.  The Report was developed with the input of a number of stakeholders, and was piloted in several counties before final distribution.

Children attending court: Judicial Recommendations Brochure There is growing evidence that many children want to attend their court hearings and that it is beneficial for children to do so.  The Recommendations for Judges: Children Attending Hearings brochure provides guidance and suggestions for judges about how to make children comfortable in their courtrooms.  It also contains specific conversation topics that are developmentally appropriate for different-aged children and youth. Get the Judicial Recommendations Brochure here.

CCFL Study on Children Attending Court

The Center on Children, Families, and the Law (CCFL) at UNL has completed a study that assessed children's perceptions and attitudes regarding their participation in the court process, and explored the impact of children's participation on the court process itself. The study included children who participated in their court hearings as well as children who did not. Children were given an opportunity to provide some brief feedback on their thoughts and feelings, and representatives from CCFL also attended court hearings to observe the effect of the children's participation on the process. Within two weeks of each of the observed hearings, representatives from CCFL visited the children in their foster homes, where children completed a brief questionnaire about their experiences with the court system.

  • The study results were published in the April 2011 edition of Child Abuse & Neglect (Vol. 35, Issue 4). Read the article.
  • The researchers who did this study also developed a set of recommendations for Nebraska judges. 
  • Findings based on the study were presented at the 2009 Nebraska Children's Summit. Watch the video.
  • The Lancaster County Juvenile Court has adopted a court rule on youth attendance at hearings. Read the court rule (Section E).

Older Youth Transition Planning Guide

At the 2012 Nebraska Children's Summit, local teams voted "Older Youth in Care" as one of the three priorities the TTEOC and its teams would focus on.  As one of the projects to address this issue, TTEOC staff and team coordinators project with parnters such as Project Everlast, CCFL training staff, and DHHS to develop a team guide.  The team guide is intended for use by local teams to help them assess how well they include young people in their court processes, and to provide assistance in identifying issues they need to address. The guide includes a sample transition plan, questions that judges should ask older youth, a transition proposal checklist, and a youth inventory.

Click here to view the Older Youth Transition Planning Guide.

Parenting Time Guidelines

The Parenting Time Guidelines were developed by the Parenting Time Subcommittee of the Supreme Court Commission on Children in the Courts, and approved by the Supreme Court Commission for use.  The Guidelines were based on national research on the type, frequency and duration of parenting time that is most effective and best for the children involved.

Pre-Hearing Conference Protocols

These protocols were developed by multidisciplinary committees and are in use by local teams and mediation centers across Nebraska.  To learn more about Pre-Hearing Conferences, go to the Mediation and Facilitation webpage.

Pre-Hearing Conference Protocol

Pre-Hearing Termination of Parental Rights Conference Protocol

Permancy Pre-Hearing Conference Protocol

Family Group Counseling Brochure

Fostering Connections Checklist

In 2008, Congress passed into law the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act.  The law primarily addressed the issues of siblings, transition planning, education, medical care and relative placements.  In 2011, the Nebraska Legislature enacted some of its provisions into state law through Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-1311.01 (relative notice), 1311.02 (siblings) and 1311.03 (transition planning).  For assistance with implementing Fostering Connetions, go to the checklist. 

Checklist for Infants and Toddlers

As part of its Helping Babies from the Bench series, the Through the Eyes of the Child Initiative partnered with the Nebraska Early Development Network (EDN) to issue a checklist for maltreated infants and toddlers involved in the system.  The checklist can assist caseworkers and other stakeholders in ensuring that infant and toddler needs are adequately being addressed.

Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) Nebraska Assessment

ICPC Contacts |  The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children and Status Offense Advocacy

Complete list of requirements for completing an ICPC request  |  INTERSTATE COMPACT ON PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN GUIDEBOOK  |  Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children Packet For Private Adoptions  |  FOSTER KIDS IN LIMBO (Annie E. Casey Report)  |  Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) Nebraska Assessment

3A JUSTICE MANUAL Data Entry for Abuse/Neglect Cases In 2008, the Through the Eyes of the Child Initiative partnered with JUSTICE to produce a standardized code manual for data entry in abuse and neglect cases.  Clerks were trained in 2009, and technical assistance and individual training was provided by JUSTICE and TTEOC between 2012 and 2014.  The manual does not contain an exhaustive list of all codes that could potentially be entered in a 3a hearing but rather it focuses on codes commonly entered and specific focus is made on critical codes that are used to assess case progression, including: date of removal, ex parte order, Protective Custody Hearing, First Appearance Hearing, Adjudication Hearing, Disposition Hearing, Review Hearing, Permanency Hearing, Motion/Petition to TPR, TPR trial, and termination of jurisdiction. Read the 3a Code Manual here.

State Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Trend Analysis (2013-2015)