Why Lutheran Family Foster Care Services?
Every year, hundreds of youth in Nebraska are removed from their families because of neglect and abuse. While these families heal, their children need a safe, loving, home-like atmosphere with minimal judgment and abundant patience.
LFS provides a one-of-a-kind support system for families and children throughout the entire foster care process.
The Foster Care Team
Foster parents have the most direct contact with the child and are central to the team, which includes:
- LFS foster care staff
- A Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services case manager
- Biological parents
- Teachers, therapists, counselors, and other professionals involved with the family
How the Foster Care Team Works Together
Every foster case is tailored to the needs of the family and the child.
- If needed, a therapist provides the foster child´s treatment
- The foster parent initiates visits with the child’s biological family, ensures visits occur and may assist with supervising desired behavior changes
- Foster parents may mentor the biological parents
- The biological parents and child reunite after meeting certain criteria. If this is not possible, a guardian or someone willing to adopt a foster child is identified
How does LFS support foster families?
- The ratio between LFS foster care specialists and foster parents ensures each foster family receives the time, attention and support they need for successful placements.
- LFS foster care is directed and supervised by staff who have been foster parents themselves and understand the challenges and rewards of caring for foster children.
- LFS believes foster children should know their belongings are valued; every child entering an LFS foster home is given a suitcase for their belongings.
- Foster families and foster children are provided with care packages at the beginning of a placement and through out the year. These packages often include clothing, toys, household cleaners, toothpaste, shampoo, soaps, laundry detergent, dish washing detergent and other items.
- LFS offers holiday gift assistance.
- Foster families receive 24 days of paid respite per year. When possible, LFS helps locate and arrange the respite. If a foster parent experiences a unique situation and needs additional respite, temporary additional respite may be possible on a case-by-case basis.
- All foster parents qualify for the Employee Assistance Program which provides access to short-term counseling for stress, relationships, parenting, job concerns, grief, depression, emotional difficulties and financial stress.
- Foster parents have access to more than 15 training courses on many topics including parenting, attachment and cultural issues.
- Ongoing on-line training so foster parents can earn their required yearly CEU at convenient times in their own home.
- Foster parents are notified of community discounts and family centered activities.
Foster parents respond to a child’s immediate need for a foster placement 24 hours a day. The length of placement varies depending on the situation.
Bilingual Foster Care Specialist
The Bilingual Foster Care Specialist helps Hispanic/Latino foster youth maintain a connection to their culture, religion and language. This position helps to recruit and support bilingual foster and kinship homes in order to help children maintain connections that will allow them understand where they have come from and to develop their sense of belonging and identity.
Our current focus is the Hispanic/Latino population as this is the greatest need in Nebraska. However, our goal is to expand into a multicultural foster care program. We want to be able to support children and foster/kinship families from multiple culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Foster Care Adoption
Our goal is to find permanent adoptive homes for children who are legally free for adoption.
LFS is Nebraska’s sole grantee of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program.
This identifies us as one of the most effective foster care and adoption services in the state.