- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska is trying a new approach to serve children and youths who have serious emotional disorders.

Gov. Pete Ricketts announced Tuesday that the state is adopting a “system of care” approach designed to promote better communication and cooperation among public and private agencies, families and youth.

Sheri Dawson, who oversees the state’s behavioral health services, says state officials will review whether Nebraska has gaps in services for youths or if services are redundant. Youths with emotional disorders frequently interact with multiple state agencies and private groups.

The initiative follows a planning process that included input from more than 1,000 families, youth, system partners, service providers and others.

Department of Health and Human Services CEO Courtney Phillips says she expects the system will help children, youths and families achieve better outcomes.

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