By bringing together state and local agencies, leaders and citizens, Bring Up Nebraska is helping to ensure that every community across Nebraska is working to increase the availability of critical supports and services, reduce unnecessary government system involvement, and improve the lives of Nebraska children and families. The United States Children’s Bureau recently selected Nebraska to participate in an opportunity called Thriving Families, Safer Children (“Thriving Families”) due to the progress that has been made by the community well-being collaboratives in the Bring Up Nebraska Initiative.
Bring Up Nebraska’s Community Well-Being (CWB) model is based on the belief that all individuals and families face challenges and that providing support early, before challenges turn to crises, improves outcomes for children, adults, and communities. Local communities are the foundation of our work because they are best situated to provide services and supports which build protective factors and resilience to future challenges, and because decision-making about what works to protect and promote well-being lies within communities and homes of our families, whose lived experiences are the true drivers of transformation.
Prior to the pandemic, Bring Up Nebraska partners had worked in partnership to establish 14 autonomous community collaboratives serving 62 of Nebraska’s counties. Now, we are working with 22 collaboratives. The First Round of Community Collaboratives involved in the Thriving Families opportunity include: Hall, Dakota, Douglas and Platte/Colfax counties.
- Equality in opportunities and outcomes for every child in the State of Nebraska, regardless of race, ethnicity or economics, and elimination of disproportionality of children, youth, and families involved in the child welfare and justice systems.
- Reshaping the current child welfare system to better support the CWB model by collaborating with other partners and providing aligned funding, supports, and services.
- Ingraining of the CWB model within the state government and local communities so it continues as the operational norm regardless of political or administrative leadership changes over time.
- Inclusion of families, youth, and other community members with lived experience in the leadership and decision-making process at both state-wide and community levels.
- By December 2020, Bring Up Nebraska’s Thriving Families opportunity will focus on the most interested and ready communities with the most disparate well being outcomes as well as service and opportunity gaps (e.g. Dakota, Platte/Colfax, Hall, Tribal communities, and Douglas).
- By 2022, utilize the Two-Generation Approach to address the gaps in the current prevention/well-being system/pre-system involvement services and support in communities.
- By 2022, communities, providers, and state-level partners change the way business is conducted to support and ensure young adults and families are lifted up and empowered so that they are able to dream and create a well-being system that works in their community.
- By 2022, develop new communications and PR messaging utilizing research to engage additional partnerships (e.g. Department of Labor, Department of Economic Development, Housing, etc.) to embrace the model of community well-being.
- By 2025, continue to further develop the well-being system based on the impacts of COVID-19 (e.g., secure access to affordable housing, food, internet, and behavioral health supports).
- By 2025, an increase of children, youth, and families that are supported in their communities and are not involved in higher end systems of care.
- By 2025, decrease the disproportionality in well-being outcomes (e.g. Child and Abuse and Neglect, High School Graduation Rate, Juvenile Arrests, Children Below Poverty Level (Under Age 5), Children in Out-of-Home Care, Children in Single Parent Households, Infant Deaths, Language Spoken Other Than English, Proficient English Language Arts (3rd Graders), Teen Births, Work Hours per Week to Rent 2-Bed Home, Racial Distribution Under Age 5).
- By 2025, state and federal partners work together to address the practice and policy changes from the communities so that a community-based well-being system is transformed.
Nebraska Thriving Families Joint Meeting
1. Participants develop deepened working relationships
2. Participants acquire knowledge of pertinent updates
3. Participants contribute to race equity and inclusion action planning
4. Participants make action commitments and are clear on next steps