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Telling the whole story.

ANNUAL REPORT 2011


From the Executive Director

As I wrap up my first year as Executive Director at Voices for Children in Nebraska, I want to take a moment to reflect on the year and all we have accomplished together on behalf of Nebraska’s children. Essential to this has been reflecting on my personal theme for the year – preserving and honoring the legacy of founding Executive Director, Kathy Bigsby Moore. 2011 was a whirlwind for me getting up to speed on all of the issues affecting kids and families in Nebraska. One of the important things that Kathy’s legacy has taught me is that winning policy victories for children does not happen overnight. It takes patience and being prepared for the right moment. It takes thorough research, clear communication, and strategic advocacy to achieve collective impact on the issues that affect kids. At Voices for Children, we are passionate about fairness for all Nebraska kids. We have been and always will be the outspoken, independent voice for children and are committed to “telling the whole story” when it comes to children’s issues. With politics so divisive, lawmakers oftentimes only listen to the side of the story they want to hear. When it comes to kids, we are making sure the whole story is being told - loud and clear. In 2011, we accomplished this in part through a the website redesign with more commentary and analysis and an increased presence on social media. We’ve also began to use motion graphics, infographics and video to help make the story more accessible and easy to understand. This was an intentional focus on our part to constantly and consistently tell the story of Nebraska’s kids. As Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” I want to thank each of you who have, in your own way, helped us tell the whole story of children in our state and in our communities. Together, I am sure we can continue to change the world for the better for all of our children. Sincerely,


By the numbers

As an independent voice for kids, Voices for Children in Nebraska wouldn’t exist without the financial contributions of foundations, individuals, and corporate supporters. A complete list of those donors is available online at www.voicesforchildren.com/annualreport.

Income Contributions - 14%

Grant Awards ....................... Special Events ..................... Contributions ........................ Community Giving ................

$ 270,000 $ 113,411 $ 62,111 $ 9,168 $ 454,690

Community Giving - 2%

Special Events - 25%

Grant Awards - 59%

Expenses Fundraising - 7% Other/ Administrative - 12%

Research & Monitoring ......... Awareness ............................ Other/Administrative ............. Fundraising ........................... Advocacy (Direct lobbying) ..

$ 198,750 $ 150,423 Advocacy - 2% $ 50,802 $ 30,097 $ 8,468 $ 438,539 Awareness - 34% Research - 45%


Donors Individuals

$250-$499

$5,000+

Jerry & Karen Authier Scott & Anne Barker J. Keith & Stephanie Basham William Bentley John & Beatty Brasch Stacey Brewer Phyllis Brunken Patrick & Anne Buettner Linda Daughtery Henry & Marna Davidson Jay & Shirley Dunlap Sandra Gasca David & Whitney Goldner Nicholas Golyar Delynn & Esther Hay Scott & Ruth Henneman Rosalee Higgs Gwen Howard Nathan & Laura Johnson Robert Johnston Mark & Kimberly Keating Tim & Angela Kelso Dale & Verna Kephart William King Bryon Langenfeld Kristen Lembke Brian & Kathleen Mallatt George & Marjorie Manglitz Robert & Therese Mathews Don & Karen Metzger Thomas Mulligan William Pallett Thomas & Melissa Ruff John & Teresa Ryan Kirk & Deborah Ryckman Thomas & Denese Stalnaker Judy Thomas Tina Volpe Warren & Nancy Whitted

Mitzi Fox Nicole Theophilus Dr. Thomas & Jane Tonniges

$2,500-$4,999 Keith & Pauline Allen David & Melanie Hecker Steve & Diane Kohler

$1,000-$2,499 John & Christine Barnhart Colin Bishop Bob & Stacie Bleicher Chad & Jennifer Carpender Mark & D.J. Clarke Patrick & Cindy Doherty Sharon Doll John & Kay Lynn Goldner Jeff & Judy Greenwald Gary & Sarah Kaplan Michael Kulas & Wende Baker Monica Messer Donald & Jean Moore Craig & Kathy Moore John & Dianne Scott James & Deborah Suttle Lawrence & Jann Thomas Robert & Katherine Townsend

$500-$999 Roy & Gloria Dinsdale Steve & Abby Drucker Allen & Carol Dvorak David Filipi Gary & Kathy Gates David & Whitney Goldner Drew Hallock & Kelli Sweet Andy & Kim Hawekotte Allen & Kathryn Moore John & Karen Morey Sally Nordlund James Anderson & Magda Peck Don & Sharon Perry Wendi Schulz Kevin & Kirsten Sladovnik Dr. Jane Carnazzo & Robert Stutzman David & Karol Theophilus

$100-$249 Gary & Patricia Allgeier Chad & Mary Anderson Ellen Archer Neil Archibald Jodie Austin Frederick & Sally Bekins John & Mary Lynn Bennett William & Irene Bigsby Kendra Bigsby Steven & Carol Bloch Dennis & Amy Boesen Melissa Breazile Beth Ann Brooks Fred & Penni Bruning Sally Burt Miguel Carranza & Christine Thesfeld-Carranza

Kirsten Case Penrod Linda Cheatham Will & Geraldine Clanton Henry Clark Barbara Copple Elizabeth Crnkovich Michael & Willie Cronin Leon & Janelle Davis Jennifer Dreibelbis Gayle Drucker Edward Easterlin John & June Fettig Shari Flowers Richard & Linda French Kenneth & Marjorie Fridrich Jim & Mikki Frost K. Lowell & Barbara Gaither Wayne & Kathryn Gappa R. Edward & Patricia Gehringer Emily Getzchman Sarah Gilbert Michael & Wanda Gottschalk Rebecca Gould Gail Gregory Ron Hanthorn Roger & Jacquelyn Harned Jacque Harrill Peg Harriott Paul & Marjorie Hartnett Philip & Stacey Haussler Jason & Sarah Helvey Todd Hixson Cathy Houle Elizabeth Hruska Joni Huffman David & Nancy Jacobson Jim & Joan Jensen Andrew & Leah Johnson Janet Johnston Anderson Danna Kehm Wayne & Lauren Kobza Jeffrey & Patricia Koraleski John & Sarah Ann Kotchian Joyce Lane Larry & Joanna Lindberg Bruce & Charlotte Lobaugh Joseph Loudon & Michelle Manning Kent Magnuson & Beth Baxter Walter & Frances Mailand Martin & Lorraine Mancuso Nancy Mangan James & Patricia Manion Jack & Janet Mason Stephen & Susan McWilliams Michael Mitilier Matt & Jean Moore Richard & Diann Muhlbach


Judge J. Patrick Mullen & Barbara Harris L. K. & Mary Muller David & Theresa Newell Tim & Lois Norder Doug & Lorri Oakeson Victor & Diane Pearson Robert & Elna Peirce Debra Romberger Barbara Rooker Richard & Carol Russell Lori Sasson Nicholas & Kelly Schaefer Herbert & DiAnna Schimek Elvin & Helen Shew Jon & Mindy Simon Thomas & Beverly Sonntag Nicholas Swiercek Harry & Mary Thiele LaNeita Thomas Jim & Nancy Thompson Charles & Dina Tilgner Dave & Michaela Tolo David Tomlinson Emily Tonniges Stefanie Torres Brandi Tumbleson Sue Twit Norman & Pat Wallman Clarence & Jean Waters Victoria Weisz Ryan & Jean Whitt David & Laura Wilwerding Milton & Kathleen Zadina Peter Zandbergen Stephen & Terry Zimmers Christopher Zimmers

$1-$99 Irene Abernethy Scot Adams Christy Al-Nemah Dennis & Barbara Anderson James Anniss & Rachelle Weight Anthony & Amy Ariano Bill Arnold & Karla SchwiegerArnold Dale & Mary Bahney Maranden Baker Bill Barburek William & Elsie Barrett Richard & Amy Behnke Calvin Bentz & Cara Anderson Bentz James & Barbara Berg Robert & Marla Boyd Mabel & Susan Boyd

Lawrence & Marjorie Brennan Bo & Sarah Buettenback Michael & Deborah Buike Darlene Burham George & Shelley Burkoski Dori Bush Richard & Kathy Campbell Kim Carpenter Rod Cerny Fred & Gretchen Christensen Bill & April Collamer Mardee Collingham Pat Connell & Mary KunesConnell Anastasia Conroy Ann Coyne Amy Crawford Stephen Davis & Donna TubachDavis Donald & Mary Dendinger Jonah Deppe Ronald & Annette Dubas Joe & Rita Eichelberger Charles & Mary Ann Erickson Anna Ernst Frank & Kristy Feden Polly Feis Don & Janice Flegle Janel Foote Julie Ford Joseph Kapusnick Robert & Robyn Freeman Dr. Wayne & Celia Ganow Stephanie Gardella Lawrence Gendler John & Carmen Gottschalk Laura Green Wil Guidebeck Ashley Gustafson Steven & Sharon Haack Herb & Marian Hames Ardys Hansum Angi Heller Kevin Hendrix Laura Hilty Matthew & Mary Hunziker Gwen Hurst-Anderson Don & Linda Hutchens Cindi Jeffrey Michele Jensen Steve Jones Kimberly Anne Joyce Nick & Chris Juliano John & Kathleen Kapusnick Howard & Gloria Kaslow Duane & Janet Katz Karen Kealey Kevin Kelch

Thomas & Kathleen Kiefer Teresa King Robert & Loriann Kirkpatrick Adam & Nikki Kirshenbaum Katherine Klein Robert Koch Brad Kohl Wendy Koontz Burma Kroger Robert & Shirley Kulakofsky Joan Lang John & Mary Livingston Elizabeth Llewellyn Courtney Loch Vincent Macklin Aubrey Mancuso Robert & Sherry McCartney Lisa McClane Carolyn McClean Bryan & Aimee McKim Marjorie McKown Thomas McLaughlin Kenny McMorris Ray Meints & Mary Fraser Meints Amy Messerly Scott & Jennifer Meyerson Joseph & Cindy Mirfield Angela Montgomery McKinsey Mulroy Arlene Nelson Roland & Marta Nieves Jennifer Novesky Craig & Heather Oldsen Christine Olson Debbie Orduna Charles & Lorraine Pallesen Mary Jo Pankoke Steven & Pennelope Parker Mark & Nicole Pearson Douglas Peters Gina Peyton Elizabeth Pitschka Bredon Polt Ronald & Helen Raikes Jene Rasher Todd Reckling Jane Renner Hood Robert & Jennifer Richardson Amy Richardson Wendy Richey Rita & Rick Sanders Amy Schafer Richard & Ann Schenck Cathy Schleich Jennifer Sheldon


Donors Individuals (continued) Arthur Silknitter & Kristine Townsend Suzanne Singer Maria Sinley Andrea Skolkin Beverly Sladovnik Michael Sorensen Dorothy Spizman Georgia Stevens Sara & Brian Stobbe Sandra Stuckey

Foundations, Organizations, and Businesses $75,000+ Anonymous The Annie E. Casey Foundation

$25,000-$74,999 Holland Foundation The Lozier Foundation William and Ruth Scott Family Foundation Woods Charitable Fund, Inc.

$10,000-$24,999 Alegent Health Building Bright Futures First Focus - America’s Promise Alliance Nebraska Medical Center

$5,000-$9,999 COPIC Insurance Company Nebraska Conference of the United Methodist Church Presbyterian Church of the Cross The Hawks Foundation The Todd & Betiana Simon Foundation

Jennifer Talarico Gary & Deb Tettenborn Al & Jodie Thornton Deb Tomek Christopher Tonniges Robert Tribolet & Georgina Scurfield Jason Uttecht Juan Valdez Ann Van Hoff H. Nicholas & Gretchen Vondrak John & Kathy Walburn Nancy Walker Amanda Talmadge-Walkowiak

Louise Waszak James & Mary Werner Robert & Kim Whitehouse Amy Wieczorek James & Bonnie Williams Kerry Winterer Jeremy Workman Kevin & Paige Wycoff Jeff & Cindy Yost Charlene Zabel Melissa Zacks Jennifer Zimmers K.C. Zubrod

$1,000-$4,999

$100-$499

ACCESSbank Bank of the West Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands Bruning State Bank Catholic Health Initiatives - St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Community Services Fund of Nebraska Creighton University Medical Center. - St. Joseph Hospital Deloitte First National Bank of Omaha Grace/Mayer Insurance Agency Methodist Hospital Nebraska Children and Families Foundation Omaha Schools Foundation OPPD P & A Management Co., L.L.C. Peter Kiewit Foundation RSM McGladrey, Inc. The Maids Union Bank & Trust Company Valmont Foundation Fund West Corporation

Adult Adolescent & Child Therapy, Inc Boll Weevil Foundation Centenary United Methodist Women Lutheran Family Services Nebraska Chapter of National Association of Social Workers Omaha Door & Window Co., Inc Women of Trinity Cathedral

$500-$999 Charles Drew Health Center Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home Sharee and Murray Newman Fund Smith Hayes Financial Services Corp. United Health Group

$1-$99 Family Housing Advisory Services Heart of the Midlands Combined Federal Campaign Lincoln Counseling Center P.C. Nebraska Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church Nebraska Chapter of National Association of Social Workers Nebraska Family Support Network Pampered Chef United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County Wells Fargo


Community Giving A special thank you to the following donors who gave through community giving programs including the United Way and Community Services Fund. Anonymous Luz M. Aguirre Krishna Amancherla Patricia J. Babb Jennifer Bangert Gabriel D. Berglund Ms. Donna M. Bode Debora D. Brownyard Ms. Wendy Bryant Stephen Michael Buhler Nancy Bulin Brenda S. Carlow Amy M. Cassner-Sems Dave B. Caulkins James A. Celer

Jason Conrad Ms. Sandra Dean Jennifer L. Dreibelbis Tonia Durden EducationQuest Corporate Matching Gift Carolyn Pope Edwards Mary E. Garza Don A Grow David & Melanie Hecker Julane Hill Mary J. Johnston Richard L. Kahle Douglas R. Koebernick Steve & Dee Kohler Daniel P. Kunzman

Judy A. Martin Bryan L. & Aimee L. McKim Diane Pearson Timothy W. Potter Nicole R. Preister Ms. Suzanne Prenger Elvin & Helen Shew Kelton K. Sieckmeyer Kevin & Kristin Sladovnik Jodi L. Standley Ms. Shannon Stava Harvey & Sally Swanger Nicole Theophilus Susan C. Tribby Dale A. Wallman Rose C. Zlomke

Judy Greenwald Steve Haack Kayla Hadden Nicki Hanson Stacy Hatten Michelle Haynes David A. Hecker, JD Billy Higgens Aimee & Shawn Hollendieck Barbara Holmes Mary & Mathew Hunziker Helen Kelley Angie Kelso Dee Kohler Wendy Koontz Lori Koraleski Patti Koraleski Becky Kroll Cynthia Lazure Kathleen A. Mallatt Julie Manrose

Lori Masid Rob McCartney Kelsey McChane Monica Messer Tina Miloni Kathy Bigsby Moore Doug Peters Niki Rabidaux Melissa Ruff, CPA Pallavi Samant Deb Suttle Kelli Sweet Niki Theophilus Morgan Thomsen Emily Tonniges Dr. Tom & Jane Tonniges Lou Wachtler Grant & Monica Willms JenniferWinkelmann

Con Agra Foods COPIC Insurance Company Creighton University Medical Center Creighton Medical Associates Deloitte Tax LLC First National Bank of Omaha Grace/Mayer Insurance Agency Husch Blackwell KETV Methodist Women’s Hospital Nebraska Children and Families Foundation Nebraska Medical Center Omaha Schools Foundation One World Community Health Center

OPPD P & A Management Co, LLC Peter Kiewit Foundation RSM McGladrey, Inc. Smith Hayes Financial Services Corp. The Hawks Foundation The Maids Omaha Steaks Union Bank & Trust Company Valmont Foundation Fund Wells Fargo West Corporation Woodmen of the World

Volunteers Melissa Acosta Deanna & Brandon Albertson Keith Allen, PhD Mary Bahney Lisa, Jacob, and Patrick Batenhorst Jan Blomstedt Maureen Book Anne Yu Buettner Debbi Buike Becky Chabot DJ Clarke Miguel A. Carranza, PhD Mardee & Jerry Collingham Christine Cummins Sarah Cunningham, PhD Steve Drucker, CPA Tessa Gifford Ginny & Dan Gohr Kay Lynn Goldner Dr. Whitney Goldner Mary Grantski

Gala Sponsors ACCESSbank Alegent Health Bank of the West Barnhart Press Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands Blue Cross Blue Shield Bruning State Bank Building Bright Futures Catholic Health InitiativesSt.Elizabeth Regional Medical Center Charles Drew Health Center Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Children’s Emergency Department


Gifts in Kind Aksarben Cinema Applebee’s Artistic Handz Barrett’s Barleycorn Pub & Grill Beads, Etc. Beertopia Bella Dea Spa Big Mama’s Billings Photography Blue Sushi Sake Grill Borsheims Boyd & Charlies BBQ Broadmoor Market Bruegger’s Bagels Carol Fosse Women’s Apparel Celestial Cuisine Catering Charleston’s Restaurant Chicago Cubs Colleen Dustin Photography Corkscrew Wine & Cheese Creighton University Athletic Department Dante Pizzeria Napoletana Dario’s Brasserie Decor & You DeFord Family Dental DJ’s Dugout Steve & Abby Drucker Eagle Nursery eCreamery Ice Cream and Gelato Eileen’s Colossal CookiesPapillion Family Fun Center Flatiron Cafe Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar Focus Red Mango Forged Fit Bootcamp Funny Bone Tracy Glantz Godfather’s Pizza Great Harvest Bread Co Healthy Touch

Hot Shops Art Center Gwen Howard Jerry Ryan Clothing and Sportswear Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse Just Pop’d Richard & Helen Kelley Verna Kephart Dee Kohler Kristen’s Cookies Lansky’s Le Peep Lincoln Children’s Museum Lucky Bucket Brewing Company Maggie Moo’s Mahogany Prime Steakhouse Nancy Mangan Mangelsen - Images of Nature Gallery Mangelsen’s MarbleSpark Mimi’s Café Craig & Kathy Moore McKinsey Mulroy Nebraska Dance Olive Garden Christine Olson Omaha Children’s Museum Omaha Community Playhouse Omaha Fire Department Omaha Performing Arts Society Omaha Quilters Guild Omaha Storm Chasers Omaha Symphony One Tree Yoga Oriental Trading Company Papillion Fire Station Papillion Flower Patch Papio Bowl Papio Fun Park Pasta Amore E Fantasia Periwinkles For Her Platte River Photography Pump It Up R & M Transportation Remedy Intelligent Staffing

Rockbrook Camera Carolyn D. Rooker Russell’s Salon Sam & Louie’s New York Pizza Sam & Louie’s New York Pizza - West Scheels All Sports Inc. Schieber Chiropratic & Acupuncture Scooter’s Coffeehouse, Inc. Shadow Lake Towne Center SkateDaze Spaghetti Works Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops Spezia Stella’s Hamburgers Strike Zone String of Purls Sullivan’s Steakhouse Deb Suttle Kelli Sweet Swimtastic That Pottery Place The Bookworm The Crescent Moon Ale House The Durham Museum The Inn at Okoboji Resort Hotel & Conference Center The Market Basket The Rose Performing Arts Thirty-One Ticket Express Dr. Tom & Jane Tonniges Trader Joe’s Trek Bicycle Store of Omaha Brandi Tumbleson Two Rooster Images Upstream Brewing Company Village Grinder Tina Volpe Walker Tire Warsteiner USA Wells Fargo Whole Foods Market Stephen & Terry Zimmers Zurlo’s


Kathy Bigsby Moore Legacy Fund Irene Abernethy Scot Adams Keith & Pauline Allen James Anderson & Magda Peck Anonymous Ellen Archer Neil Archibald Jerry & Karen Authier Dale & Mary Bahney Scott & Anne Barker William & Elsie Barrett J Keith & Stephanie Basham John & Mary Lynn Bennett James & Barbara Berg William & Irene Bigsby Kendra Bigsby Steven & Carol Bloch Lawrence Brennan & Marjorie Mullen Brennan Darlene Burham George & Shelley Burkoski Sally Burt Fred & Gretchen Christensen Mark & D.J. Clarke Anastasia Conroy Barbara Copple Ann Coyne Michael & Willie Cronin Henry & Marna Davidson Stephen Davis & Donna Tubach-Davis Leon & Janelle Davis Steve & Abby Drucker Allen & Carol Dvorak Edward Easterlin Charles & Mary Ann Erickson Polly Feis Robert & Robyn Freeman Jim & Mikki Frost K. Lowell & Barbara Gaither Gary & Kathy Gates R. Edward & Patricia Gehringer Lawrence Gendler David & Whitney Goldner Michael & Wanda Gottschalk Jeff & Judy Greenwald Gail Gregory Ardys Hansum Jacque Harrill Peg Harriott

Kevin Hendrix Cathy Houle Elizabeth Hruska Don & Linda Hutchens David & Nancy Jacobson Jim & Joan Jensen Gary & Sarah Kaplan Duane & Janet Katz William King Katherine Klein Steve & Diane Kohler Burma Kroger Robert & Shirley Kulakofsky Joan Lang Kristen Lembke Larry & Joanna Lindberg Bruce & Charlotte Lobaugh Kent Magnuson & Beth Baxter James & Patricia Manion Robert & Therese Mathews Ray & Mary Fraser Meints Don & Karen Metzger Scott & Jennifer Meyerson Angela Montgomery Donald & Jean Moore Richard & Diann Muhlbach Arlene Nelson Roland & Marta Nieves Jennifer Novesky Charles & Lorraine Pallesen Steven & Pennelope Parker Robert & Elna Peirce Don & Sharon Perry Jene Rasher Wendy Richey Debra Romberger Thomas & Melissa Ruff Richard & Carol Russell Kirk & Deborah Ryckman Elvin & Helen Shew Arthur Silknitter & Kristine Townsend Suzanne Singer Beverly Sladovnik Sandra Stuckey Robert Stutzman & Jane Carnazzo James & Deborah Suttle David & Karol Theophilus Harry & Mary Carolyn Thiele LaNeita Thomas Lawrence & Jann Thomas

Charles & Dina Tilgner Dave & Michaela Tolo David Tomlinson Dr. Thomas & Jane Tonniges Robert Tribolet & Georgina Scurfield Nancy Walker Norman & Pat Wallman Victoria Weisz Robert & Kim Whitehouse Warren & Nancy Whitted David & Laura Wilwerding Milton & Kathleen Zadina Stephen & Terry Zimmers Christopher Zimmers Jennifer Zimmers

Honorary and Memorial Gifts Craig and Kathy Moore in memory of Barbara Handschuh Reed Joan Lang in honor of Dr. Cathy Lang J Keith & Stephanie Basham in honor of Father Steve Boes David & Nancy Jacobson in honor of their children, Rachel, Sara, Justin and Ben


Research All of Voices for Children’s advocacy for kids lies on a strong foundation of data and research. For 18 years, the cornerstone of this research has been the annual Kids Count in Nebraska Report. We use the Kids Count Commentary and data throughout the year to inform the public and lawmakers about the important issues that impact kids. The 2010 edition was released in January 2011. The Kids Count in Nebraska Report Commentary focused on children’s behavioral health. Caring for children with behavioral health problems is challenging even for families who have the financial resources and know where to turn for help. For those who do not, getting help is an even bigger struggle. In 2008, the Safe Haven crisis highlighted this struggle. Recognizing a window left open in Nebraska’s safe haven policy without an age limit, families relinquished 36 children to the state’s custody – 34 of whom had received prior mental health treatment. While this window in the law has since been closed and policies have been enacted that begin to provide behavioral health care for children, we know that there is still a need for a more complete system of care.

The Kids Count in Nebraska 2010 Report was generously funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation

with additional support provided by: Dr. Thomas & Jane Tonniges and


When we see a need for additional information that isn’t contained in the Kids Count Report, Voices for Children produces a special Issue Brief. In 2011, we took a closer look at the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Centers (YRTCs) - their history, who they serve, what they cost and whether they effectively meet the needs of Nebraska’s youth. We released the Issue Brief in anticipation of the 2012 Legislative debate on the fate of these institutions.

Kids Count in Nebraska by the Numbers 97 state-level indicators of child well-being 88 pages

This fall, our staff traveled to Kearney, North Platte, and Scottsbluff to share and learn about the issues that children and families in the Central and Western parts of our state face. Our travels help provide context and qualitative information about the unique challenges rural communities face and help us be better advocates for kids across the state.

Our travels took us through Kearney, where we paused to film an installment of our video series on safety.

61 tables & figures 9 impact & policy boxes


Awareness Raising awareness is key to our ability to influence the public and policy makers and win victories for children. Central to this work is our website, where we post information and analysis about the issues impacting Nebraska’s kids. In 2011, voicesforchildren.com received its first major makeover in over five years. We have added new content and integrated social media tools like Twitter and Facebook, so visitors can get up-tothe-minute information every time they visit our site.

Video Because of the sometimes technical nature of public policy and data, we strive to tell the whole story in a way that is easy to understand and compelling. This year, we began a series of weekly web videos, breaking down the issues into digestible bites so that anyone can watch and learn why a topic is important.

Visit http://voicesforchildren.com for all of our videos.


Infographics Our goal is to become a more data-driven organization. Increasingly, nonprofits and community leaders rely on infographics and data visualization to better understand a problem or to give the data context. Every month, we produce an infographic that explains important data or a concept. Whether it’s kids in out-of-home care by the numbers or showing where “cliffs” exist in our public benefit programs – these infographics illustrate what is really happening to our kids in a clear and data-driven way. We are a leader in this among our peer organizations nationally and we’re just getting started.

Awareness by the Numbers 26 videos 2 motion graphic videos 6 infographics 737% growth in Twitter followers

So, just what is an infographic? Infographics are a way of representing data or a concept in a visual form so that they are more easily understood. Lots of things fall into the category of “infographics” - from simple illustrations of a concept to visualizations of complicated sets of data. Infographics are an emerging tool and we are just getting started. Above is our very first infographic on the phenomenon known as the cliff effect.

172% growth in Facebook fans


Advocacy Our ultimate goal as an advocacy organization is to improve the systems that serve kids. These programs and systems can help more kids access health insurance, learn more effectively in school, grow up in families that can meet all of their basic needs without financial support, or be safe at home and in their communities. When the programs that serve kids work, we are better off as a community and state. We improve these systems through advocating for public policy changes. This change happens in two different ways: by advocating for legislative change, or by advocating for administrative change. In 2011, we won two key legislative victories for Nebraska’s kids: - An increase in the asset limit in the SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) program. By increasing the asset limit to $25,000, families who are experiencing a temporary setback – like the loss of a job or a reduction in work hours – can qualify for SNAP without having to spend all of their savings like a 401(k) or college savings account for their kids. -Adopting parts of the Fostering Connections Act helps make the transition into and out of foster care less traumatic for kids in the system by maintaining family connections and providing planning opportunities and support for youth preparing to “age out” of the system. While we secured two key advocacy victories for kids in 2011, the year was not without its setbacks. With the state and country slowly recovering from the recession, state budgets are tight. In Nebraska, lawmakers made several cuts to state programs that impact children and families. The child care subsidy rate was frozen at a level below the actual market rate for child care, and Medicaid payment rates were cut, meaning doctors and other health providers receive a smaller payment for the services they provide. It is important to understand that advocacy isn’t something that happens in isolation; oftentimes factors beyond the control of even the most skilled advocates are at play. We do know that policies can always be changed and remain hopeful that the time will be right to increase investments in children in the coming years.


Voices for Children in Nebraska also uses advocacy to promote administrative change. Late last summer, Voices for Children began working with a group of frontline behavioral health providers to describe how changes to Medicaid rules and regulations were influencing the lives of the children they serve. We identified the main problems with the proposed changes and illustrated how they were affecting kids in an easy to understand diagram, Johnny’s Journey. In Johnny’s Journey, we outline the amount of time it takes for “Johnny,” who needs residential treatment, to be approved by Medicaid and receive that treatment. In the “before” flow chart, it takes very little time. But “after” the new rules and regulations are put in place, it takes Johnny much longer to get approval, which jeopardizes his health. This diagram and supplemental testimony were used to educate senators on the issues, which in turn allowed them to ask the important questions of Medicaid officials. We also used this information in our own testimony at a public hearing on the changes in the rules and regulations. From this work, and the work of many others, we were able to put enough pressure on Medicaid that they reversed some of the rules that were limiting children’s access to Medicaid services. Johnny’s Journey x x x x

12 yr old ward of the state From Lincoln, NE and placed in foster care in Omaha Has been working with a LMPH in the community to address his impulsive control disorder Has recently become highly assaultive toward peers and adults and has started making suicidal statements and threatens to hurt others. His therapist begins the Medicaid application process:

Pre-July 1

Post-July 1

Outpatient therapy by community provider: therapist (LMHP/LCSW), psychologist, or independent therapist (LIMHR)

Community provider (therapist, psychologist, independent therapist completes Magellan application for treatment level of care (PRTF)

Receive verbal consent by legal guardian for application to be submitted Same day guardian approval and supervising practitioner signature if supervisor is in house.

If application is completed by a therapist, need to get signature from supervising practitioner (psychologist, independent therapist or psychiatrist)

Dependant on DHHS case worker availability to respond.

Need signature by legal guardian for application before submitting

Minimum 24 hrs

Averaging

6 weeks*

Need signature by psychiatrist for Statement of Need on application before it is submitted

Approval or appeal process by Magellan 72 hrs**

72 hrs**

Placement in PRTF Average time from beginning application to placement:

Average time from beginning application to placement:

3 days

Over 6 weeks

Advocacy by the Numbers 704 bills introduced 199 bills impacting kids 22 testimonies on bills


The end of an era 2011 marked a turning point in the history of Voices for Children in Nebraska. Founding Executive Director Kathy Bigsby Moore retired after 23 years of leading the only statewide, multi-issue, independent child advocacy organization in Nebraska. Kathy left an incredible legacy for those of us who follow in her footsteps. Kathy and Voices for Children in Nebraska fought for important policy changes for kids including the establishment of Kids Connection, the health insurance program for low-income Nebraska children; a State Earned Income Tax Credit which puts money back in the pockets of low-income workers so they can spend it on their families’ basic needs; and the Nebraska Parenting Act and tools to help divorcing parents learn to parent from two households. To honor Kathy and all she has accomplished for Nebraska’s children, Voices for Children in Nebraska presented her with a Lifetime Achievement award at our annual Spotlight Gala. In addition to the award, we established the “Kathy Bigsby Moore Legacy Fund” at Voices for Children in order to continue her legacy and allow the organization to respond flexibly to the unaddressed needs of Nebraska’s kids. We began the fund with a challenge from a very special group of anonymous donors: they would match the first $20,000 we raised for the fund. Thanks to the generosity of donors and friends of Voices for Children and Kathy, we met our goal before the Spotlight Gala in March and raised over $40,000 for the Legacy Fund.

Kathy Bigsby Moore speaking on the State Capitol steps circa 1992 (left), at the Kids Count Report Release circa 2001 (center), and meeting with U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (right).


Spotlight Gala The 2011 Spotlight Gala was our biggest and best to date. The event raised $125,000 net in support of our advocacy on behalf of Nebraska’s vulnerable children. The Spotlight Gala recognized Dr. Tom and Jane Tonniges and their children, Christopher and Tracie Tonniges, Emily Tonniges, and Elizabeth and Patrick Gomez as the Honorary Family for their longstanding involvement and support of many civic and child-serving organizations. Six awards were presented during the Spotlight Gala: Ky-Antre Compton, Youth Award; Karla Schweiger-Arnold, Individual Award; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska, Organization Award; Presbyterian Church of the Cross in Omaha; FaithBased Award. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Voices for Children’s founding Executive Director, Kathy Bigsby Moore. Kathy was also presented a proclamation of March 19, 2011 as “Kathy Bigsby Moore Day” in the City of Omaha by Mayor Jim Suttle. A committee of more than 30 community volunteers helped organize the event, led by event chairwomen Mary Hunziker, Dee Kohler, and Monica Messer. Diamond and Platinum sponsors included KETV Channel 7, The Nebraska Medical Center, Alegent Health, Barnhart Press, Husch Blackwell Sanders, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska, Copic Medical Foundation, Rhonda and Howard Hawks, and Omaha Steaks.

Honorary Family (left to right): Emily Tonniges, Chris Tonniges, Dr. Tom and Jane Tonniges, Elizabeth and Patrick Gomez.

KETV’s Rob McCartney served as the event MC.


7521 Main Street, Suite 103 Omaha, NE 68127 (402) 597-3100 phone (402) 597-2705 fax voices@voicesforchildren.com http://voicesforchildren.com

Telling the whole story.

Board of Directors Anne Yu Buettner, MA Stephen D. Cummings Judy Greenwald, MSW David A. Hecker, JD Tim Hron, MA, LIMHP Jocelyn Joyce Kristen Lembke, CPA Lloyd Meyer Steve Mitchell Eric Nelson, MSE Krystal Sautter

Keith Allen, PhD President Dee Kohler Vice President Delores “DJ” Clarke Secretary Steve Drucker, CPA Treasurer

Staff Carolyn D. Rooker, MSW Executive Director

Rachel Boyer Executive Assistant & Special Projects Coordinator Melissa Breazile Research Coordinator Sarah Forrest Policy Coordinator Child Welfare & Juvenile Justice

Connie Hacker Accounts Manager Aubrey Mancuso, MSW Policy Coordinator Health & Economic Well-being Caitlin Pardue Policy Associate Behavioral Health Jill Westfall Communications & Operations Coordinator

2011 Annual Report  

Voices for Children's 2011 Annual Report

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