(1) The Department of Health and Human Services shall have legal custody of all children committed to it. The department shall afford temporary care and shall use special diligence to provide suitable homes for such children. The department shall make reasonable efforts to accomplish joint-sibling placement or sibling visitation or ongoing interaction between siblings as provided in section 43-1311.02. The department is authorized to place such children in suitable families for adoption, foster care, or guardianship or, in the discretion of the department, on a written contract.
(2) The contract shall provide (a) for the children's education in the public schools or otherwise, (b) for teaching them some useful occupation, and (c) for kind and proper treatment as members of the family in which they are placed.
(3) Whenever any child who has been committed to the department becomes self-supporting, the department shall declare that fact and the legal custody and care of the department shall cease. Thereafter the child shall be entitled to his or her own earnings. Legal custody and care of and services by the department shall never extend beyond the age of majority, except that (a) services by the department to a child shall continue until the child reaches the age of twenty-one if the child is in the bridge to independence program as provided in the Young Adult Bridge to Independence Act and (b) coverage for health care and related services under medical assistance in accordance with section 68-911 shall be extended as provided under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 42 U.S.C. 1396a(a)(10)(A)(i)(IX), as such act and section existed on January 1, 2013, for medicaid coverage for individuals under twenty-six years of age as allowed pursuant to such act.
(4) Whenever the parents of any ward, whose parental rights have not been terminated, have become able to support and educate their child, the department shall restore the child to his or her parents if the home of such parents would be a suitable home. The legal custody and care of the department shall then cease.
(5) Whenever permanent free homes for the children cannot be obtained, the department may provide subsidies to adoptive and guardianship families subject to a hearing and court approval. The department may also provide and pay for the maintenance of the children in foster care, in boarding homes, or in institutions for care of children.