LINCOLN - Kristi Mullennix's daughters could have ended up back in foster care when she lost her housing last year.
The girls had been in foster care before, when their mother was jailed briefly.
Fortunately, the Omaha woman has Brad Oltman on her side.
He's part of a program aimed at helping families stay out of the child welfare system after their cases have closed.
After Mullennix lost her housing, Oltman helped her get into a shelter where she and her daughters could be safe. He gave her a ride when her car tires were slashed. He provided a listening ear when she needed one.
"Any time I needed anything, he's been there," she said. "Brad's kind of been my anchor."
But Mullennix would have been left to struggle on her own if she lived outside the Omaha metropolitan area.
One consequence of the state's failed effort at privatizing child welfare services has been the loss of what are called aftercare services for families in most of Nebraska.