SEATTLE, Jan. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Casey Family Programs, the nation's largest operating foundation focused on safely reducing the need for foster care and building Communities of Hope for children and families, today awarded "Bring Up Nebraska" with the foundation's Jim Casey Building Communities of Hope Award.
Named in honor of Casey Family Programs founder Jim Casey, the national award recognizes communities that successfully bring together public, business, nonprofit, philanthropic and community partners to improve the safety and success of children and their families.
Led by the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, Bring Up Nebraska is a partnership including community collaboratives, Gov. Pete Ricketts, First Lady Susanne Shore, state agencies and numerous nonprofit organizations working to increase the availability of critical supports and services and improve the lives of Nebraska children and families.
Bring Up Nebraska coordinates existing resources within a community, enabling young adults and families to determine their own paths toward well-being goals, and lifts up their lived experiences to shape the well-being system. Longer-term solutions are designed to increase family and community protective factors, strengthen parent and child resiliency, increase self-sufficiency and realize positive life outcomes.
"Hope is built on a foundation of real strategies for improving the lives of children and families," said David C. Mills, chair of the Board of Trustees of Casey Family Programs. "It's the collaboration behind the policies and action that can deliver a new reality and create hope for our children's future. Bring Up Nebraska can serve as a model for successful implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act."
"Just as every family is unique, so is each community," said Dr. William C. Bell, President and CEO of Casey Family Programs. "This distinctiveness creates the opportunity and the freedom for partners to work together to build their own Communities of Hope. In Nebraska, leaders in the public, business, nonprofit, philanthropic and community sectors are successfully working with a common set of values and a commitment to think, plan and act together."
One of the data-driven tools created by Bring Up Nebraska is an adaptation of the Community Opportunity Map launched by Casey Family Programs in 2018. Bring Up Nebraska has expanded the functionality by adding local data to better identify needs and opportunities in communities. Bring Up Nebraska rolled out the Nebraska Community Opportunity Map in 2019 for use by community partners, all to create more positive outcomes for children and families.
Bring Up Nebraska is generating impressive results. The number of Nebraska children in need of foster care in 2018 decreased about 18% from 2017, and the number of entries into care decreased nearly 30% over the same period. The number of children re-entering care is 4%, below the national average of 7%.