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Helping kids in crisis. Building strong families.

It is the mission of CEDARS to help children who have been abused, neglected, and homeless achieve safety, stability, and enduring family relationships.

For 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. 


Every day is different for Shelly, Travis, and Julia. They wake up, not knowing if they will eat breakfast or go to school like other kids their age. They don’t even know if they’ll wake up to a parent at home or be completely alone.

Shelly, Julia and Travis are close in age, the youngest in kindergarten and the oldest in fifth grade. And for the last two years the children’s parents have been battling addiction.

Shelly

The mission of caring for children like Shelly and her siblings is critical and ongoing.


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!