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.

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.

This means days when there is no food to be found in the children’s home; when for hours each day they may be left alone to care for themselves and with dreadful feelings of uncertainty about the days and weeks ahead of them.


A Lifeline to a Child in Need.

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?