(OMAHA, Neb. – June 3, 2019) – Today, Representative Don Bacon co-introduced legislation to authorize funding to support mentoring programs that critically support young people in the foster care system. According to Nebraska's Department of Health and Human Services, more than 5,000 youth in Nebraska were placed in care in 2018.
Cross-sector data, collected by MENTOR Nebraska, has clearly demonstrated that youth in foster care in Nebraska are currently underserved when it comes to mentoring services. These youth are in particular need of the presence of a consistent adult. The bill, entitled The Foster Youth Mentoring Act, would address the need for greater support of mentoring programs that serve youth in foster care. Foster youth face challenges as they navigate growing up often without the support of consistent caring adults. The bill would fill that gap to provide foster youth with the social capital, resources and support they need to develop positive relationships and connections.
“Young people in foster care face so many barriers when it comes to placements, education, future employment and so many other parts of their lives. The Foster Youth Mentoring Act would help with one of the most important barriers, consistent relationships with a trusted adult,” said MENTOR Nebraska’s Executive Director, Deborah Neary. “We are so grateful that Representative Bacon has taken on this critical support and opportunity to expand a core component of a young person’s life and that he has committed himself to finding solutions to one of our nation’s largest challenges through relationship-based solutions. We thank him for co-leading this important bill and improving outcomes for foster youth in Nebraska and nationally. MENTOR Nebraska is looking forward to seeing the Senate introduce companion legislation to this bill and hopes other members of the Nebraska House delegation will support the Foster Youth Mentoring Act.”
About MENTOR Nebraska
MENTOR Nebraska, formerly Midlands Mentoring Partnership, was launched in 1999 to improve the number and quality of mentoring programs available for Nebraska’s youth. MENTOR Nebraska’s work is research-based and collaborative with the ultimate vision to bring about systemic changes that will allow mentoring programs to serve more youth with higher quality services. This is achieved through standardized background checks, data collection and evaluation, and training and technical support. For more information about MENTOR Nebraska, visit www.mentornebraska.org.