Helping kids in crisis. Building strong families.

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

For over 70 years, thousands of vulnerable children and youth have found safe refuge and a new beginning at CEDARS. One of Nebraska’s most trusted child-service organizations, CEDARS makes sure that children feel safe and secure. At the same time, we’re giving parents, foster families, and partnering agencies the support they need to care effectively for children. 

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

Before eleven-year-old Amelia came to CEDARS, she was living in a car with her mom. The car was out of gas and the battery was running low. Despite having gone without bathing for over a week and eating only minimal food for longer, Amelia was willing to give a small smile—whenever she would look up from her dog-eared book.

The first evening Amelia came to us, she was already asking when she could go home. You see, even though the conditions of the car were terrible, that was what she’d always known. 


The truth is, neglect and homelessness are real. And children are living with these realities every day.

10 Reasons to Foster Teens

10 Reasons to Foster Teens

In some cases, a child in need of a foster home might be very little—even a baby—but many in need of foster homes are tweens and teens. Often they have been mislabeled as “bad” but the reality is, they are just normal kids, like any other kid. They need love and the support of a trusted, solid relationship with family.
We asked our foster parents and foster teens for their top reasons why others should consider opening their hearts and homes to fostering teens. These are their answers.

1. We aren’t in diapers.
2. We sleep through the night.
3. Teens are easier to reason with. They are easier to have grown-up conversations with – ranging from some current event in the news to why a visit isn’t going to happen. Where you may need to dance around sensitive issues that a younger child may not be ready to digest, teens – for the most part – you’re able to just talk with them.
4. Teens get more involved in independent, outside-the-home activities – primarily extracurricular activities at school, and work. Yes, that can mean you’re doing more driving around, but it also means that you’re getting a couple hours of “break” here and there.
5. Teens can be helpful around the home. Mowing, vacuuming, cooking, even transporting or tutoring younger siblings.
6. You get to teach them the fun stuff that they will use the rest of their life, like driving, budgeting, cooking, and cleaning.
7. You don’t need to find a babysitter for us or send us to daycare.
8. You have the opportunity to form a lifelong friendship.
9. You have the ability to help a teen gain their independence and start their adult life on a positive note.
10. Each and every one of them has taught us something new about ourselves.
11. (Bonus!) All kids need superheroes…regardless of how old they are. It’s kind of cool to think that you might be part of the reason this kid goes to college or becomes someone great.

Want to learn more about becoming a foster parent?