(1) The Foster Care Reimbursement Rate Committee created in section 43-4216 shall review and make recommendations in the following areas: Foster care reimbursement rates, the statewide standardized level of care assessment, and adoption assistance payments as required by section 43-117. In making recommendations to the Legislature, the committee shall use the then-current foster care reimbursement rates as the beginning standard for setting reimbursement rates. The committee shall adjust the standard to reflect the reasonable cost of achieving measurable outcomes for all children in foster care in Nebraska. The committee shall (a) analyze then-current consumer expenditure data reflecting the costs of caring for a child in Nebraska, (b) identify and account for additional costs specific to children in foster care, and (c) apply a geographic cost-of-living adjustment for Nebraska. The reimbursement rate structure shall comply with funding requirements related to Title IV-E of the federal Social Security Act, as amended, and other federal programs as appropriate to maximize the utilization of federal funds to support foster care.
(2) The committee shall review the role and effectiveness of and make recommendations on the statewide standardized level of care assessment containing standardized criteria to determine a foster child's placement needs and to identify the appropriate foster care reimbursement rate. The committee shall review other states' assessment models and foster care reimbursement rate structures in completing the statewide standardized level of care assessment review and the standard statewide foster care reimbursement rate structure. The committee shall ensure the statewide standardized level of care assessment and the standard statewide foster care reimbursement rate structure provide incentives to tie performance in achieving the goals of safety, maintaining family connection, permanency, stability, and well-being to reimbursements received. The committee shall review and make recommendations on assistance payments to adoptive parents as required by section 43-117. The committee shall make recommendations to ensure that changes in foster care reimbursement rates do not become a disincentive to permanency.
(3) The Foster Care Reimbursement Rate Committee shall provide electronic reports with its recommendation to the Health and Human Services Committee of the Legislature on July 1, 2016, and every four years thereafter.