children first.

aka Nebraska Children's Home Society   |   Omaha, NE   |


To provide safe and loving care for children of all ages

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Lana Temple-Plotz

Main address

4939 S 118TH St

Omaha, NE 68137 USA

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NTEE code info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Adoption (P31)

Family Services (P40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

NCHS has been putting children first for 127 years. The founding of NCHS was part of a national movement that resulted in the founding of Children's Home Societies in 36 states between 1883 and 1916. NCHS was chartered in 1893, a time of economic hardship and upheaval for many. Although the challenges have changed over the years, children still come into the world vulnerable and facing risks. NCHS continually evaluates and adjusts services to address children's needs. As a mature organization, NCHS is ready to make bold strides to serve children and families like never before.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Family Support and Home Visitation

Education and support is offered to help parents, caregivers and parents-to-be navigate pregnancy, care for their child, and talk through issues and insights with other moms, dads and caregivers.

Support groups and educational sessions focus on various topics such as managing stress, accessing services for themselves and their family, supporting your child during the pandemic, child development, parenting, raising grandchildren, youth development, fatherhood issues, co-parenting, etc.

Home visitation services focus on prevention, working with families who are not involved in the state child welfare system but who are in need of one-on-one support services or groups. The home visitation services model utilizes an evidence-based curriculum Growing Great Kids®. The curriculum includes an interrelated array of core services for parents of children from prenatal through 5 years of age including crisis services, outreach, home-based services, parent education and support, and collaboration across agency lines. A Family Resource Specialist works to develop a relationship with mothers, fathers and the family, and assesses family income, housing, medical needs, children in the home, language, race and ethnicity, spouse/partner information, formal and informal supports, transportation, employment, education, services being utilized, and services and resources needed. Home visitation serves two different population groups: 1) Teen & Young Parent Program - a collaboration of five agencies offering support to pregnant and parenting teens, and 2) Healthy Families America® (HFA®) Program - offered to pregnant and parenting mothers and fathers age 21 and older.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The program is equipped to help children grow emotionally, socially and academically in preparation for school readiness and long-term wellness outcomes.

The program utilizes the Creative Curriculum®, a research and evidence based early childhood curriculum, and the Teaching Strategies Gold Assessment® system, which focus on research based objectives for development and learning with demonstrated successful outcomes related to school readiness in the areas of physical, language, social/emotional and cognitive development.

Early Childhood STEMstart provides a unique, high-quality experience in which children engage through a variety of activities including hands-on classroom programs implementing specialized equipment and educational field trips to kindle an early understanding and appreciation for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Family involvement is a key component of the program. Families are encouraged to attend field trips, family conferences, participate in activities, eat lunch with their child, or stop by to visit whenever they are available. The teaching staff works with families to facilitate consistency in every aspect of the child’s development by sharing the child’s daily experiences and providing educational materials and activities for home. Special activities are scheduled throughout the year for families to participate with their child. In addition, the families are provided with appropriate resources and referrals as needed.

The Nature Explore outdoor classroom promotes development and learning in social-emotional, physical, language and literacy and cognitive development in a natural setting. The playground provides natural experiences that help kids discover new things about themselves and the world around them through experimentation, observation, problem solving, and manipulation.

As funding is available, Early Education Scholarships provide tuition assistance to families with limited resources to enroll their child.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

An array of services are provided to care for the specific and individualized needs of each child. Specialists ensure that each child receives support from family members and foster parents regarding identity development. NCHS believes it is in the best interests of the child to keep siblings together unless otherwise indicated.

Components of the Foster Care program include the following:
1. Foster Parent Recruitment, Screening and Selection
2. Foster Parent Training
3. Matching and Placement of Children
4. Service Planning
5. On-going Support and Oversight
6. Developing and Maintaining Connections
7. Communication with Parents

Kinship Care, the fulltime care of children by relatives or anyone to who a family member is ascribed, includes a variety of services, information and referrals to support the stability and success of kinship caregivers, children and their families. Kinship care builds on the strengths of family relationships and ensures children’s continued connections to their family networks and community supports while recognizing that the entire family may need a variety of services.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

NCHS Permanency Services uses the Family Finding® model using the six step method created by Kevin Campbell to find connections, and possibly permanency, for foster children with a concurrent plan, which is an approach that involves considering all reasonable options for permanency at the earliest possible point following a child's entry into foster care or a plan of adoption. Permanency planning is a child-centered process that aims to ensure children have enduring relationships, of the social and legal status of family membership, that last a lifetime and support their connections with extended family, cultures and communities of origin. The Family Finding® model offers methods and strategies to locate and engage relatives of children currently living in foster care. The goal of Family Finding® is to unite each child with a family, so that every child may benefit from the lifelong connections that only a family provides.

Additionally, the 3-5-7 Model© is an evidence-informed relational model used to provide therapeutic and emotional support to foster children, families and caregivers. Specialist provide support throughout the process to help the child through separation and loss, the grieving process, developmental growth stages, relationship building through attachment activities, trauma influenced behaviors, family and organizational systems to prepare them for permanency and the transition into a permanent home. The 3-5-7 Model© provides tools for staff to support and empower individuals to develop relationships that will be secure and sustainable.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Adoption Planning is a statewide service since the organization’s founding in 1893. The program is child centered and focuses on the best interest of the child. Information and ongoing support is provided so the mother and father may make decisions and develop a plan that they believe is best for their child and for themselves.

Parents considering adoption for their child are able to select a family from the group of approved prospective adoptive parents in the program who have an approved home study and have completed required training on issues related to parenting and adoption. Specialists provide information on open adoption and the research that supports this is in the best interest of children. NCHS is committed to the understanding that the experience of adoption has lifelong implications for all involved and may impact them in different ways. A parent who is considering adoption for their child is offered the opportunity to meet with other birth parents and attend a birth parent support group. Parents who choose adoption for their child are also provided with ongoing lifelong support after they make their adoption plan. Birth parent support groups are offered, as well as celebrations to honor birth mothers on or around Birth Mother's Day. Every other year a retreat is offered to birth mothers as another means of providing ongoing support.

Options Education is provided to individuals/couples who have an open case with Division of Children and Family Services to educate them on relinquishment terminology, which includes the differences between voluntary relinquishment and involuntary termination of parental rights, as well as their options as the legal parent, and possible outcomes. NCHS staff are trained to educate parents in a supportive, unbiased manner.

Adoptive parent services focus on the high importance of providing education, necessary resources, information and support for the many challenges and joys of the adoption process. Families interested in adopting a child are first invited to attend introductory educational classes where information is provided and the screening process begins. To prepare adoptive couples, attendance is required at parenting and adoption education classes. A home study is required which is an assessment of a family and their readiness to become parents through adoption. A home study consists of several interviews with a couple both together and individually and visits to their home.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Provide comprehensive lifelong support for members of the adoption circle (the adopted person, birth family and adoptive family), including assistance to help individuals and families identify and develop skills to deal with issues that are adoption specific, separate adoption issues from normal developmental challenges, and address the interface of adoption and behavioral health issues.

Search Services are available to any member of the adoption circle, where a previous relationship occurred with NCHS. Post Adoption Specialists provide information, education and support on the issues of searching, reunification, grief and loss, and other areas.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Self-sufficiency services are designed to support parents/caregivers to have improved life situations and needed skills to be self-sufficient and then in turn better able focus on nurturing and caring for their child/ren.

Services are flexible and strengths-based with one-on-one support, and includes assistance with housing, budgeting, employment, educational attainment and basic needs (food, shelter, safety) while teaching, supporting, and empowering parents/caregivers with the tools to achieve their personal goals.

Services are in place to address the many and varied barriers, which allows families, to receive needed services in a connected way, rather than disjointed. Specialists serve as a resource and point-of-contact to prevent families from homelessness, avoid eviction, provide and/or connect to basic needs, including medical care.

Population(s) Served

Raising Your Grandchildren is a 6-week psychoeducation series focused on providing support, resources and parenting strategies to grandparents. The program addresses the challenges of parenting traumatized children and feelings of guilt, regret and grief over the difficulties that led to the situation. The program is also available in Spanish. Topics covered:
• blessings, losses, and challenges
• nurturing self and child
• child growth and development
• appropriate behavioral expectations
• keeping children secure and safe
• expanding awareness of grandparents' own needs and the resources to get those needs met.

Series graduates can become members of the Ambassadors ongoing support group. Ambassadors meet twice a month and cover additional topics like preventing child sexual abuse and learning how to advocate for themselves and their families.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Council on Accreditation 2021

External assessments

Evaluated via the Impact Genome Project (2019)

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

NCHS has a 10-year strategic plan focusing on bold and compelling aspirations that position NCHS to live out the organization’s values and achieve the vision of a safe and loving family for every child.

A year-long sustainability planning process in 2019-2020 illuminated 7 issues critical to the continued success and sustainability of NCHS, and when achieved, will allow NCHS to expand the life-changing work to children and families across the state:

• Establish a clear strategic direction
• Prioritize programs and services
• Improve fundraising
• Assess community needs/changing needs
• Strengthen endowment
• Leadership succession planning and Board engagement
• Optimize marketing and communications

Addressing these critical issues will strengthen the organization, allowing NCHS to successfully engage with partners across the state to achieve the aspirations for Nebraska’s children and families:

Aspiration #1: Enabling Successful Transitions to Adulthood for Every Foster Youth
As an organization committed to the success of Nebraska’s most vulnerable youth, NCHS will connect every youth leaving foster care with a community of caring adults to help them navigate their future and prevent homelessness, incarceration, unplanned pregnancy, trafficking and addiction.

Aspiration #2: Ensuring Bright Futures for Nebraska’s Children
As an expert in harnessing the power of relationships to create lasting change for children and families, NCHS will partner with parents and caregivers raising children under unexpected and challenging circumstances to ensure they receive the knowledge, resources, and support needed to insulate their youth from the detrimental impacts of family trauma, poverty and other adverse childhood experiences.

Aspiration #3: Expanding Access to Home Visitation
As an agency committed to the overall success of families, NCHS will unite with schools and community partners to provide home visitation for all families in targeted communities. Through strong partnerships, NCHS will ensure families can holistically access all the services necessary to build self-sufficiency, break cycles of abuse and poverty, and provide safe and loving care to their children.

Aspiration #4: Leading Innovation to Strengthen Nebraska’s Families
As a practitioner of innovative service delivery, NCHS will unite and strengthen Nebraska’s families by partnering with universities, national and state coalitions, and thought leaders to design, test and implement cutting edge solutions focused on supporting responsive relationships, reducing sources of stress and strengthening core life skills.

The aspirations in the ten-year plan are bold, compelling, and cannot be achieved in isolation. NCHS needs exceptional staff, service partners, Board and investors to join in this important work.

As an active partner in local, state, and national coalitions with a focus on early childhood, child welfare, juvenile justice, and community building, NCHS provides direct services and collaborates with other organizations to implement the following strategies:

• Focus on ensuring that infants and young children have healthy beginnings in environments that recognize the importance of early childhood, building and strengthening families through an array of services, creating pathways to the future by preparing and equipping children with life skills necessary for the transition to independence and engaging communities in efforts to improve child well-being.

• Provide evidence-based services and resources to equip birth, foster, kinship and adoptive parents for success in their child-rearing responsibilities during their children's prenatal, childhood and adolescent stages of development.

• Ensure that services account for regional and demographic variations and that collaborative relationships with other local, state and national entities are in place to create partnerships for success.

• Identify, cultivate and leverage appropriate sources of funding that are sustainable, diversified, and flexible to meet our strategic priorities and anticipate the funding needs for programs, services and administration.

• Develop, evaluate and continuously improve internal processes that are efficient, effective, and enhance the delivery of services to our stakeholders.

• Ensure that NCHS is applying its resources to maximize evidence-based practices in the communities we serve via data and trend analysis, community based need assessments and collaborative service offerings.

Nebraska Children's Home Society (NCHS) works across the state to provide safe and loving care to children of all ages. NCHS uses its 127 years of experience to put children’s needs first through an array of services designed to build strong, supportive families and nurture growth during the most crucial developmental stages in a child's life and through young adulthood.

Our three core services areas are:

1. Family Support: individual support, self-sufficiency, parent support groups, youth education, parent education, pregnancy counseling, home visitation, early childhood education, and mental health services.
2. Adoption: infant, kinship, and foster adoption, adoptive parent preparation, post adoption services including Right Turn© and mental health services (support for adoptive and guardianship parents).
3. Foster Care: foster and kinship care, family finding, family preservation, child permanency, family support, and reunification.

NCHS is accredited by the Council on Accreditation, is a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity, and is a Nonprofit Association of the Midlands Best Practices Partner. NCHS is licensed as a Nebraska Child Caring Agency and a Nebraska Child Placing Agency.

Office locations: Omaha (2), Lincoln, Grand Island, Norfolk, North Platte, and Scottsbluff. Locations serve as hubs to surrounding communities to provide coverage across the state.

As it relates to the sustainability planning process that led to the creation of the 2019-2029 strategic plan, NCHS has already made significant progress to address the critical issues and work towards the outlined aspirations. 2019-2020 sustainability planning accomplishments include:

1. Developed comprehensive strategic plan
2. Completed an extensive analysis of every program using an impact cost matrix that resulted in modifying and adjusting several services that were unsustainable
3. Conducted Fundraising Analysis
4. Hired qualified Chief Philanthropy Officer
5. Reduced draw on the endowment
6. Consolidated physical spaces to improve efficiencies
7. Increased Stakeholder Engagement (board, trustees, funders, service partners)
8. Expanded Home Visitation to families involved in the child welfare system

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Children, Individuals, and Families

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Board of directors
as of 07/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Keith Hier

HighTower Omaha

Term: 2022 - 2024

Erin Froschheiser

Leo A Daly

Dave McCue

Aon Risk Service

Ed Cochran

University of Nebraska-Omaha; Leadership RocketFuel

Krista Eckhoff

Baird Holm

Sue Weidner


Kelli Sweet

Union Pacific

Wilson Banks

Union Pacific

Keith Hier

Hightower Advisors

Keith Hansen

University of Nebraska Medical Center

Daisy Dai, PhD

University of Nebraska Medical Center

Sarah Morris Rotermund

Cox Media

Jamel Hamilton

Nebraska Enterprise Fund

Christine Torres

Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce

Monica Wells

Buffett Early Childhood Institute

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/12/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data