An internal review has found that some Nebraska state wards have actually have been living safely at home for months -- and in some cases, for years.
Nebraska Children and Family Services Director Thomas Pristow said Tuesday that he ordered the review amid criticism of Nebraska's child welfare services.
The agency says the number of wards has declined by 309 since March, when Pristow took his job. One-third of Nebraska's 5,800 wards receive in-home services that allow them to stay with family, but Pristow says many cases involve children who no longer require oversight.
Pristow says officials are using a new set of guidelines to determine when to remove children from their homes. He says the state is also returning more children to parental custody when it's safe.