Building Communities of Hope: Casey Family Programs Recognizes “Bring Up Nebraska”

From developing resilience in children, teens, and adults to providing children and family services to implementing childcare best practices, it takes all of us to Bring Up Nebraska.  

Panelists from Bring Up Nebraska discuss community prevention and well being. l to r: Bill Stanton, First Lady Shore, Dannette R. Smith, Jenny Skala, Emily Kluver, Michelle Paxton, Rebecca Daugherty, and Georgie Scurfield.
Panelists from Bring Up Nebraska discuss community prevention and well-being. l to r: Bill Stanton, First Lady Shore, Dannette R. Smith, Jenny Skala, Emily Kluver, Michelle Paxton, Rebecca Daugherty, and Georgie Scurfield.

On January 15, 2020, Casey Family Programs, the largest private foundation whose aim is to minimize the need for foster care while creating communities of hope, awarded Bring Up Nebraska with the Jim Casey Building Communities of Hope Award.  

When we talk about Bring Up Nebraska, we refer to a prevention partnership led by Nebraska Children and Families Foundation. Other key partners include community collaboratives (see below), First Lady Susanne Shore, state agencies, non-profit organizations, and many more that come together to prevent life’s challenges from becoming a crisis and for well-being to be achieved for Nebraska families and children. 

From left: Jennifer Skala (Nebraska Children and Families Foundation), CEO Dannette R. Smith (DHHS), Mary Jo Pankoke (Nebraska Children and Families Foundation), Rebecca Daugherty (DHHS), Michelle Paxton (Children’s Justice Clinic, Nebraska School of Law), Dr. William Bell (Casey Family Programs), First Lady Susanne Shore, Georgie Scurfield (Lift Up Sarpy), Emily Kluver (DHHS), Bill Stanton (Casey Family Programs), and David Mills (Chair of the Board of Trustees of Casey Family Programs).
From left: Jennifer Skala (Nebraska Children and Families Foundation), CEO Dannette R. Smith (DHHS), Mary Jo Pankoke (Nebraska Children and Families Foundation), Rebecca Daugherty (DHHS), Michelle Paxton (Children’s Justice Clinic, Nebraska School of Law), Dr. William Bell (Casey Family Programs), First Lady Susanne Shore, Georgie Scurfield (Lift Up Sarpy), Emily Kluver (DHHS), Bill Stanton (Casey Family Programs), and David Mills (Chair of the Board of Trustees of Casey Family Programs).
 

Bring Up Nebraska is based on the belief that local communities are best situated and most motivated to understand their own needs and strengths as they relate to 

  • Reducing entry into the child welfare system and other higher systems of care (juvenile justice, adult services, etc.) and  
  • Increasing informal and formal community supports for well-being.  

Some of Bring Up Nebraska’s longer-term objectives are created with the intent to strengthen family, youth, and community protective factors, build resiliency in children and adults, enhance independence, and co-create a positive future.  

Here are some of Bring Up Nebraska’s promising 2018 statistics:  

  • In 2018 the number of Nebraska children in need of foster care decreased by 18% 
  • The number of care entries decreased by 30% 
  • The number of children re-entering care is now 4% – well below the 7% national average   

As Dr. William C. Bell, President and CEO of Casey Family Programs said, “Just as every family is unique, so is every community. This distinctiveness creates the opportunity and freedom for partners to work together to build their own communities of hope. In Nebraska, the leaders of the public, business, and nonprofit philanthropic and community sectors are successfully working with a common set of values to think, plan, and act together.”  

Pictured below is Dr. Bell, (middle) with Nebraska Children Senior Vice President Jennifer Skala (left) and CEO and President Mary Jo Pankoke.  

Pictured below is Dr. Bell, (middle) with Nebraska Children Senior Vice President Jennifer Skala (left) and CEO and President Mary Jo Pankoke.

Bring Up Nebraska is a call to action. Learn more at www.BringUpNebraska.org.   

—————– 

Community Collaboratives: Dakota County (Growing Community Connections), Dawson County Collaborative; Douglas County Community Response; Dodge County (Fremont Family Collaborative); Hall County Community Collaborative (H3C); Lancaster County Collaborative; Madison County – (Norfolk Family Coalition); Otoe County (Better Together Collaborative); Panhandle Partnership (11 Counties); Sandhills Community Collaborative (8 Counties); Sarpy County (Lift Up Sarpy); York County (York County Health Collaborative); Tribal Communities (Santee, Omaha, Winnebago, Western Nebraska, Omaha Metro); Families First Partnership – Lincoln, Keith, and Perkins Counties; Blue Valley Collaborative – Saline, Jefferson, Gage, and Blue Valley; Buffalo County Partnership; Webster, Clay, Adams, and Nuckolls Counties; Cherry and Brown Counties; Johnson, Nemaha, and other counties; Red Willow, Dundy, Frontier, Hayes, and Chase Counties; and Antelope County 

Bring Up Nebraska partners: First Lady of Nebraska Susanne Shore, Center for the Study of Social Policy, Children & Family Coalition of Nebraska (CAFCON), Nebraska DHHS, Nebraska Department of Education, Nebraska Child Abuse Prevention Fund Board, Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, Nebraska Department of Labor, Department of Economic Development, Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Nebraska Investment Finance Authority (NIFA), Administrative Office of Courts and Probation, Casey Family Programs, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Private Foundations. 

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Nebraska Children and Families Foundation supports children, young adults and families at risk with the overall goal of giving our state's most vulnerable kids what they need to reach their full potential. We do this by building strong communities that support families so their children can grow up to be thriving, productive adults.

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Posted in Early Childhood, Middle Childhood, News and Events, Teen/Early Adulthood

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