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.

Get to Know Kara

Get to Know Kara

Kara is a Family Resource Partner on the CEDARS Foster Care team. Every day, she supports children and youth in foster families.

CEDARS: Hi, Kara! What was it like when you were a kid?
Kara: I had a pretty blessed childhood. I grew up in a small town where all of my family lived as well so I grew up with a lot of support with family and friends.

CEDARS: How long have you worked at CEDARS?
Kara: I have been with CEDARS for two years--on the Foster Care team the entire time. I did switch earlier this year from doing full support to being on the licensing team working with relative homes. I was pretty reluctant at first because I loved working fulltime with our foster families. However, licensing is definitely my niche! I love working with relatives who open their home to their grandkids, nephews/nieces, family friends, peers, etc. Everyone has such a different, unique story.

CEDARS: What is it like being on the licensing team?
Kara: Most of my work is with approved relative/kinship homes who take in their grandkids, nieces/nephews, or just a family friend. I also support a few of our foster homes who have taken placement of foster youth. A typical day may include typing up a home study, being out in the field doing interviews with approved homes, or spending time with the foster youth in their foster home.

CEDARS: What keeps you coming to work each day?
Kara: First and foremost, I love my coworkers. Our supervisors do a great job of making time for team bonding, anything from potlucks to making t-shirts together. When I’m not at work, my fiancé and I like to keep active - you can usually find us playing volleyball somewhere.

CEDARS: Is there one particular client that you feel was significantly impacted at CEDARS?
Kara: I don’t think I could say there’s just one client I feel was significantly impacted. I think no matter what, even if they might not realize it, every child’s life is changed when they enter the foster care world. Whether they are here for 1 day or 3 years, their foster parent or one of the Family Resource Partners has made a difference in their life.

CEDARS: What would you say to someone considering going into the type of work you do?
Kara: There is often this misconception that foster kids are “troubled” or “hard to work with”. These kids are experiencing the hardest time in their lives. Once these kids get into a stable environment, you’d be amazed at the difference it makes and the awesome things these children are capable of!