How We Arrived at Safe & Together: Douglas County, Nebraska's Journey to Systemic Change


Tuesday, February 7, 2023
9:45 AM - 10:45 AM
Session Type: Workshop

The focus of this presentation will be Douglas County (Omaha), Nebraska's journey to identify a need for systemic change when working with child welfare cases involving domestic violence. This presentation will show how we identified: What is services are available in our community, what is working, what needs improvement, what additional considerations do we need to account for (barriers, buy in, etc.), what can we do better as a community and what we are doing to make change happen through the use of the Safe & Together Model.


Hon. Chad Brown
Judge, Douglas County

The honorable Chad Brown is proud to serve as a juvenile court judge in Douglas County, which includes Nebraska’s largest metropolitan area, Omaha. In his position, he has represented the juvenile bench in numerous Supreme Court and interdisciplinary committees to improve the services provided to children and families across the state. His judicial rulings are guided by a good sense of humor, innovative thinking, and a core belief that children are motivated by believing that someone truly cares about them. Prior to being appointed to the bench, Brown served Douglas County for twelve years as a Deputy County Attorney and for four years as a private defense attorney focused on criminal and juvenile court cases. His prosecution career included time in the Domestic Violence Unit where he and his team earned the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council (DVCC) award for outstanding service to their community. He then transitioned to the Juvenile Division and was tapped to create and lead Douglas County’s first specialized unit in the termination of parental rights. Brown ended his career as a practicing attorney in the Douglas County Attorney’s Felonies Division. During that time, he was honored to lead a multidisciplinary collaborative to improve services to those challenged by mental health. In addition, he specialized in prosecuting young defendants. His desire to reach youth prior to their entering the adult system is what eventually motivated him to become a juvenile judge. Brown is a graduate of Creighton University School of Law. When not in court, he spends his time on the court coaching youth basketball. Alongside his devoted wife, Hope, he is raising four children - none of which will follow his orders nor stand when he enters the room.

Katie Hansen
Probation Officer, Maricopa County Juvenile Probation