(1) The Foster Care Review Office is hereby established. The purpose of the office is to provide information and direct reporting to the courts, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Probation Administration, and the Legislature regarding the foster care system in Nebraska; to provide oversight of the foster care system; and to make recommendations regarding foster care policy to the Legislature. The executive director of the Foster Care Review Office shall provide information and reporting services, provide analysis of information obtained, and oversee foster care file audit case reviews and tracking of cases of children in the foster care system. The executive director of the office shall, through information analysis and with the assistance of the Foster Care Advisory Committee, (a) determine key issues of the foster care system and ways to resolve the issues and to otherwise improve the system and (b) make policy recommendations.
Terms Used In Nebraska Statutes 43-1302
- Oversight: Committee review of the activities of a Federal agency or program.
- Probation: A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed.
- Remainder: An interest in property that takes effect in the future at a specified time or after the occurrence of some event, such as the death of a life tenant.
- State: when applied to different states of the United States shall be construed to extend to and include the District of Columbia and the several territories organized by Congress. See Nebraska Statutes 49-801
- Year: shall mean calendar year. See Nebraska Statutes 49-801
(2)(a) The Foster Care Advisory Committee is created. The committee shall have five members appointed by the Governor. Three members shall be local board members, one member shall have data analysis experience, and one member shall be a resident of the state who is representative of the public at large. The members shall have no pecuniary interest in the foster care system and shall not be employed by the office, the Department of Health and Human Services, a county, a residential child-caring agency, a child-placing agency, or a court.
(b) The Health and Human Services Committee of the Legislature shall hold a confirmation hearing for the appointees, and the appointments shall be subject to confirmation by the Legislature, except that the members appointed while the Legislature is not in session shall serve until the next session of the Legislature, at which time a majority of the members of the Legislature shall approve or disapprove of the appointments.
(c) The terms of the members shall be for three years, except that the Governor shall designate two of the initial appointees to serve initial terms ending on March 1, 2014, and three of the initial appointees to serve initial terms ending on March 1, 2015. The Governor shall make the initial appointments within thirty days after July 1, 2012. Members shall not serve more than two consecutive terms, except that members shall serve until their successors have been appointed and qualified. The Governor shall appoint members to fill vacancies from the same category as the vacated position to serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.
(d) The Foster Care Advisory Committee shall meet at least four times each calendar year. Each member shall attend at least two meetings each calendar year and shall be subject to removal for failure to attend at least two meetings unless excused by a majority of the members of the committee. Members shall be reimbursed for expenses as provided in sections 81-1174 to 81-1177 .
(e) The duties of the Foster Care Advisory Committee are to:
(i) Hire and fire an executive director for the office who has training and experience in foster care; and
(ii) Support and facilitate the work of the office, including the tracking of children in foster care and reviewing foster care file audit case reviews.
(3) The executive director of the office shall hire, fire, and supervise office staff and shall be responsible for the duties of the office as provided by law, including the annual report and other reporting, review, tracking, data collection and analysis, and oversight and training of local boards.