(1) The department, in consultation with the Nebraska Children's Commission, shall develop an alternative response implementation plan in accordance with this section and sections 28-710.01 and 28-712.01. The alternative response implementation plan shall include the provision of concrete supports and voluntary services, including, but not limited to: Meeting basic needs, including food and clothing assistance; housing assistance; transportation assistance; child care assistance; and mental health and substance abuse services. When the alternative response implementation plan has been developed, the department may begin using alternative response in up to five alternative response demonstration project locations that are designated by the department. The department may begin using alternative response statewide on and after April 28, 2017. The department shall provide a report to the commission and the Health and Human Services Committee of the Legislature by November 15, 2018. The report shall outline, at a minimum, the challenges, barriers, and opportunities that may occur if the alternative response implementation plan is made permanent. The department shall continue using alternative response until December 31, 2020. Continued use of alternative response thereafter shall require approval of the Legislature. For purposes of this section, demonstration project location means any geographic region, including, but not limited to, a city, a township, a village, a county, a group of counties, or a group of counties and cities, townships, or villages.
(2) The department shall provide to the Nebraska Children's Commission regular updates on:
(a) The status of alternative response;
(b) Inclusion of child welfare stakeholders, service providers, and other community partners, including families, for feedback and recommendations on alternative response;
(c) Any findings or recommendations made by the independent evaluator, including costs; and
(d) Any alternative response programmatic modifications, including, but not limited to, proposed changes in rules and regulations.
(3) The department shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to carry out this section and sections 28-710.01 and 28-712.01. Such rules and regulations shall include, but not be limited to, provisions on the transfer of cases from alternative response to traditional response; notice to families subject to a comprehensive assessment and served through alternative response of the alternative response process and their rights, including the opportunity to challenge agency determinations; the provision of services through alternative response; the collection, sharing, and reporting of data; and the alternative response ineligibility criteria.