Youth & Families

Youth & Families

Engagement of youth and families in the court process is critical to ensure thoughtful decision-making by the judges and targeted and appropriate case plans and goals.  Parents and youth who are involved in the proceedings in a meaningful also find the process more fair and more likely feel like their voice is being heard.  

Since 2009, the Through the Eyes of the Child Initiative has partnered with Project Everlast and other agencies to increase youth voice in the proceedings.  Some of these efforts include increasing the number of youth attending their hearings; however, because not all youth are comfortable with attending court other methods of communication have been developed.  The TTEOC has worked on a statewide level to develop protocols, guidelines, and court forms, and has also provided assistance to local teams to address these issues.  To view guides and forms available to young people, go to the Youth section.

The Through the Eyes of the Child Initiative has also made efforts to increase the voices of the parents and foster parents in proceedings. Guides have been developed to help parents and caregivers understand the court process.  A Caregiver Information Form was also developed pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-1314.02.

Thousands of young people each year are involved in the Nebraska juvenile court system.  Many are young children under the age of 5 who were removed because their parents could not properly care for them.  Some are older youth who enter through the juvenile justice process.  However, the experiences of all young people, whether babies or teenagers, are important information for...Read more

When a child enters the foster care system, a parent is often frustrated and confused by the process.  Court proceedings can seem labryintine to a parent and they may not encourage their active engagement.  Many teams have addressed this issue by making court processes more engaging and conducive to parents, whether by implementing ...Read more

Foster parents have the right to be heard in juvenile court review hearings under Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-1314.  Specifically, "[t]he court shall inquire into the well-being of the foster child by asking questions, if present at the hearing, of any willing foster parent, preadoptive parent, or relative providing care for the child."  Foster parents and caregivers are also entitled to...Read more