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Youth

Youth

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 courts in their decisionmaking.  

For older children who are able to verbally express their thoughts and opinions, forms and processes have been developed to allow them to do so.  For young children, attending court can still be useful even though they are non-verbal.  Read more information on Children Attending Court.

Young Child Court Form

Young Child Court Form
Young Child Court Form

Children in the child welfare system typically want to talk to their judge and let him or her know what is going on in their life. Attending court hearings is a great way for the child to be involved and express his or her opinions. If that is not possible, the Young Child Court Form is a great alternative. The Young Child Court Form is intended for children around the developmental ages of 6 to 10. We encourage that a trusted person known to the child assist him or her in filling out the form. The form can be given to a party to submit or can be sent directly to the court. The form can be downloaded below, or judges can request copies by e-mailing Kelly Engquist.

Get the PDF here Or, to order paper copies, go to  Publications.

Youth Court Form

Youth Court Form
Youth Court Form

Updated in 2014 with the input of judges and youth councils, this older youth questionnaire was designed as a way for young people to inform the judge of what is going on in their lives and to make requests about the case.  Completing the form is voluntary, and all parties to the case have the opportunity to review the form.  TTEOC has worked with Project Everlast for several years in its design and implementation.

Click here to get the form. 

Activity/Comic Books

Activity/Comic Books
Activity/Comic Books

It is important that children attend their court hearings, even if they are young.  Learn more about the benefits of children attending court.  Young children, however, often pose difficulties to court practitioners given the nature and length of court proceedings.  Children can be noisy and impatient.  Some courts have addressed this by having children's book areas or toy corners.  Others have re-structured their proceedings.  

In 2011, the Through the Eyes of the Child Initiative created a coloring book and a comic book for children attending court.  Courts, attorneys and CASAs can order these publications at no cost.


 

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.

...Read more

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.

...Read more

Bridge to Independence (B2i)

Bridge to Independence (B2i)
Bridge to Independence (B2i)

In 2013, the Nebraska Legislature passed the Young Adult Bridge to Independence Act into state law.  The Bridge to Independence (b2i) program was kicked off in October 2014.  The program provides extended services and supports to young people aging out of the foster care system.  Services include housing support, medical assistance and case management.

For more information go to Nebraska Appleseed or DHHS.



b2i Court Questionnaire

This program is about YOU and your future.  The people involved - the judge, your Independence Coordinator, your attorney - only know what you want if you speak up.

Tell your judge about your life and how things are going.  You can attend your court hearing or you can fill out this form and send it to your judge (or give it to your attorney to send in).

 

Know Your Rights Guide

A guide for older youth on the in's and out's of the juvenile court system. This guide explains the juvenile court process and who is involved.  It also discusses permanency and placement options and how to plan for the future.  All young people above the age of 12 are encouraged to read it, possibly with the assistance of their caseworker or Guardian ad Litem.

Get the PDF here Or, to order hard copies, go to Publications.



Additional Resources From The Know Your Rights Guide Can Be Found Below

College might be the perfect option if you’re looking at a professional career like nursing, teaching, counseling or becoming a lawyer.  Colleges come in all shapes and sizes: local community colleges, giant public universities, or small private colleges.  You need to find out which one may work for you and which one you can afford.  The great news is that there are a lot of...Read more

Every person is unique and has different skills and talents.  You may not do a great job in biology class but have a knack for woodworking.  A four-year college is one option but there are other options.  You have to think about what you’re good at and what you like doing.  Once you know that, figure out which jobs may work for you and find out what kind of education you...Read more

Need help deciding on a career path? Check out the links and resources below. ...Read more

Finding housing is one of the biggest programs young people aging out of foster care have.  Some end up “couch surfing” or being homeless.  If you prepare ahead of time, you can avoid this from happening....Read more

Getting insured helps you pay for any medical services you will need.  This includes physical health, dental health and mental health.  Listed below are some tips on how to find the right health care for you....Read more