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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Aug. 3, 1995)
Grant money to improve
Social Services training
By Catherine Blalock
Training employees for the Ne
braska Department of Social Services
will now be easier.
A $4.01 million dollar federal grant
has been awarded to the Department
* of Social Services and University of
Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center on Chil
dren, Families and the Law.
Federal restrictions require the
whole grant be spent on training pro
grams that assist workers in the Social
The renewable grant will be dis
tributed over a three-year period and
will be used to improve training pro
grams for child protection workers
and those trained to work with the
entire family, Brian Wilcox, Director
of the Center for Children, Families
and the Law said.
Plans are already in motion to re
apply for the grant in 1998, he said.
“We have been trained in child
development and to help people deal
ing with these fairly difficult situa
tions,” Wilcox said.
UNL has been training workers for
about the last six years, he said. The
grant will now pave the way for UNL
to evaluate the types of training being
used and change it to fit the needs of
the community that social workers
help, Wilcox said.
Research will be done todctermine
the skills needed to be a good social
worker, he said.
“While child welfare services are
under fire across the country,
Nebraska’s Department of Social Ser
vices is continually taking steps to
make their services both cutting edge
and high quality,” Wilcox said.
Kathie Ostcrmann, public infor
mation officer with the Nebraska De
partment of Social Services, said the
department investigates all different
calls dealing with children.
Each call is evaluated by a ques
tionnaire developed to tell whether a
child is in danger or not, she said.
A call about a child being kept up
by their parents until 11:00 p.m. would
not be investigated. But a call about
children not being watched, or riding
bicycles with no lights or reflectors
around midnight would be investi
gated, she said;
Social Serviccsreceivcs calls from
schools, other relatives, day-care pro
viders and some children call them
selves to report that they have been a
victim of child abuse.
Out of the number of cases investi
gated for 1994, 1,362 were physical
were sexual assaults. These numbers
are down 4 percent from 1993 to 1994.
Children who are taken away from
their families arc put into a variety of
protective places. From July 1, 1994
to June 30,1995,4,231 children were
put in protective services.
The largest number were placed in
foster care while others were placed
with other family members, group
homes and adoptive families.
Workers who work with children,
families and all people involved in
these situation needed to be tr^ned
well, Oslcrman said. The UNL center
has helped a great deal with their
knowledge of dealing with these situ
ations, she said.
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Painting minature replicas of Lincoln buildings is a popular July Jamm activity for adults
and children. From left are Ben Herbers, 8, Dave Herbers, Alex Russell, 4, and June Russell.
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