Poverty, children and neglect
Nebraska legislators want to solidify a pilot program that helps neglected children stay with their birth families. The program is operational in 57 counties, and it's designed to assist impoverished parents accused of neglect.
The parents in these cases were not neglectful on purpose. Rather, the neglect was the result of their work schedules or their inability to provide adequate food and care due to poverty.
In a lot of these situations, the alternative response program assisted parents in caring for their children by offering transportation, temporary child care, food and other services. The program was made possible by a law enacted in 2013, which allows social workers more individual decision-making ability when responding to reports of neglect and abuse if special circumstances like poverty are the cause.
Before the 2013 law, the state viewed mothers who couldn't feed their children due to poverty in the same way they viewed mothers who purposefully refused to feed their children. In both situations, the state usually removed the children from their families. However, state social workers continue to notify the police in situations where abuse, serious injury, exposure to illegal drugs and sexual abuse are involved.
Divorced parents who suspect that their children are being neglected by the other parent may want to discuss their situations with a Nebraska child custody lawyer immediately. A concerned parent might be able to secure full child custody if the other parent is neglecting the child. However, parents must formulate their arguments for such consideration by the court in an appropriate manner if they hope to be successful in this goal.
Source: wral.com, "Nebraska could expand program aimed at neglected children," Grant Schult, Feb. 01, 2017