Here for kids. Here for families.

It is the mission of CEDARS to help children achieve safety, stability, and enduring family relationships.

CEDARS is here to ensure that all kids have a safe environment where they can grow and thrive. We walk alongside them, using a holistic approach that provides support from infancy through young adulthood, with a variety of services to meet individual needs.

We’re also here to walk with families, offering them resources, opportunities and education to keep their family connections strong. Our approach is trauma-informed and honors the experiences of those we serve, so families can become stronger and kids can preserve those connections as a central part of their support system.

These needs can’t be met by one person, entity or organization alone. That’s why we join together with organizations and individuals across the community to support kids and families. From policymakers to child welfare advocates, trauma specialists to local and state agencies, and community donors to partner nonprofits, we embrace the kind of togetherness that changes lives.

Helping all kids receive the best possible care builds a strong foundation and empowers them to develop skills and work toward independence. Providing this security and the opportunities that come with it is at the heart of our mission, and at the heart of the people who carry it out

If you are experiencing an immediate crisis situation, call the National Crisis Hotline at 800-448-3000.

See What I Can Be.


Jessica was unsafe at home. Her life was very hard for such a young kid.

She entered foster care at age four to achieve the safety she had always deserved.

Jessica lived with a variety of different families for the first nine years.

When she turned 13, she went to live with the Johnsons.

The Johnsons were great and showed Jessica what family was supposed to be like as they supported her through her ups and downs. 

They never stopped believing in Jessica and what she could be.

From infancy to young adulthood, CEDARS is here to ensure all kids have a safe environment where they can grow.

Learn more about becoming a foster parent today.

Learning to Trust

Learning to Trust

During the first week of November, officers from the Lancaster County Sheriff’s office joined with team members from CEDARS and youth in our care for an inaugural meeting, a kick off to what would be affectionately named the “Five-O-Fun Club.”

Aided by a community grant, the Five-O-Fun Club meets every other week. Their goal is to bring youth who are struggling with behaviors that could lead them down a path toward involvement with the law together with officers in a casual environment to get to know one another.

Recently, as the youth and deputies were bonding over favorite pizza toppings, one youth drew a picture of Sergeant Tommy Trotter. Trotter returned the favor and drew a portrait of the youth who said he was going to take it home to frame it.

“I love this program.” Trotter said. “All of the deputies involved are having the best time getting to meet and positively interact with the kids and staff at CEDARS.”

In December, before making gingerbread houses together, youth and deputies engaged in a trust exercise.

They talked about how important trust is. The youth expressed how they wanted to be trusted and the officers listened and shared how they were worthy of trust too.

“I think the fact that they feel incredibly safe with the deputies makes it easier for them to open up,” said Megan Shoemaker, Program Manager at CEDARS.