Final Recommendations Released by Blue Ribbon for Kids Commission

3/26/2015 2:00:57 PM

The Blue Ribbon for Kids Commission has published its final report titled “Moving Forward Together for Clark County’s Children,” on its website at http://www.nevadajudiciary.us/index.php/blue-ribbon-committee. The recommendations will be discussed during a public hearing scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday (March 27) at the Regional Justice Center, 17th Floor, in Las Vegas.


The Blue Ribbon for Kids Commission, made up of community leaders reviewing child welfare in southern Nevada, has met since October 2014 to review deficiencies in the Clark County child welfare system and courts.

A total of seven recommendations will be submitted for county commission action and/or legislation to be passed in the 2015 Nevada Legislature. The seven recommendations are:

  • Recommendation I: Reasonable Efforts Decision-Making
  • Recommendation II: Child Welfare Agency Process Reform
  • Recommendation III: Court System Process Reform
  • Recommendation IV: Meaningful Representation and Voice in the Process from the Initiation of Proceedings
  • Recommendation V: Selection, Retention, Training and Ongoing Professional Development for all Stakeholders
  • Recommendation VI: Public Education
  • Recommendation VII: Collaboration for Systemic Reform

Specifically, the Commission has made recommendations regarding the overcrowding of Child Haven, the county's facility to temporarily house children removed from their homes; an examination of why relatives are not having children released to them; the shortage of quality foster homes; and, long court calendars for child welfare cases.

“This initial report outlines important recommendations for system change which incorporates nationally recognized best practices and suggestions from system stakeholders and the public,” said Justice Nancy M. Saitta, Commission Chairperson. “The many changes this report proposes are challenging and will require significant effort. However, I am confident these changes will be given a high priority.”

Since its first meeting in October 2014, the Commission has heard public testimony and studied how the child welfare system operates and how the administration of justice can be improved.

The following individuals make up the Blue Ribbon for Kids Commission: Justice Nancy M. Saitta, Supreme Court of Nevada; County Commissioner Susan Brager; former Assembly Speaker and Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada Executive Director Barbara Buckley; Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman; Nevada Human Health and Services Director Amber Howell; the Honorable Deborah Schumacher (Ret.), Second Judicial District Court – Family Division; Clark County District Attorney Steven Wolfson; Clark County Assistant County Manager Jeff Wells; and, Thom Reilly, Director, Morrison Institute of Public Policy, Professor, School of Public Affairs, Arizona State University.