About LFS

Lutheran Family Services offers caring and supportive programs focused on children, community, and behavioral health.

Our Mission

Lutheran Family Services expresses God’s love for all people by providing quality human care services that build and strengthen individual, family, and community life.

We Achieve Our Mission Through These Broad Service Areas

Behavioral Health

Supporting individuals and families through the highs and lows of life.

Children Services

Providing for the needs of children and teens through Prevention and Early Intervention and Permanency and Well-Being.

Family Services

Building stronger families through parent education, child support, and early detection and intervention.

New Americans

Welcoming refugees and immigrants through career, housing, legal, and translation support.

Learn More About Us

Our Leadership Team

Meet the people who help shape how LFS serves for the well-being of all people.

Our Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors lead LFS by providing fundraising and financial oversight, strategic direction, and vision.

Our Locations

Featuring 19 locations in Nebraska and Iowa.


Clients Served in 2022




Years of Service


Languages Spoken by LFS Staff

Our History


Pastor Peter Graef dedicates an orphanage (Lutheran Children’s Home) in Fremont in 1893.

Around the same time, Pastor Erik Fogelstrom of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Omaha founds Immanuel Children’s Home.


First orphan festival held in Fremont

(Photo depicts the 1929 Fremont orphan festival)


The Immanuel Children’s Home opened on the campus of the Immanuel Deaconess Institute in Omaha.


Immanuel Children’s Home constructs a second home

“This is the entire Immanuel Deaconess Institute along Meredith Avenue. The deaconess living quarters are in the middle, the Bethlehem Children’s Home is on the right, and the first hospital is on the left.” – Adam Fletcher Sasse


The Orphan Home Park is dedicated in Fremont


Lutheran Children’s Home begin offering complete adoption and foster care services


The Immanuel Children's Home in Omaha launches a foster parent program


Lutheran Children’s Home begins providing social casework services


Lutheran Children’s Home becomes Lutheran Family Service


Immanuel Children's Home becomes Immanuel Social Service


Behavioral health programs are introduced

First-time programs included marriage and family counseling, family life education and domestic violence support


Immanuel Social Service and Lutheran Family Service merge to become Lutheran Family and Social Service of Nebraska

Thomas Irwin appointed Executive Director


Louis Heider named Interim Executive Director


Rev. Eugene Jobst is appointed Executive Director


Refugee Resettlement Services begin


Willard Richardson is named Interim Executive Director following the death of Rev. Eugene Jobst and his wife in the Big Thompson Canyon flood in Colorado. Later that year, Curtis Anderson and Rev. Robert Greene are appointed Co-Executive Directors.

Offices open in Norfolk, Columbus, Grand Island and Ogallala.


Chaplaincy coordination and volunteer hospital visitation programs begin.


Programs for substance abuse treatment, outpatient mental health and home-based services begin


Curtis Anderson is appointed Executive Director


Ruth Henrichs is named Executive Director.

Ruth would serve as the LFS Executive Director and then President & CEO for more than 40 years.