Experiencing long waiting lists and growing need, Save the Children Institute expands to provide “hope and healing”

OMAHA, Nebraska (Nebraska) — The Save the Children Institute was founded 130 years ago and has evolved over time to meet the changing needs of children and families. Ten years ago, he began laying the bricks for what would come next in the Campaign of Hope.

To understand why a $46 million campaign is needed, we sat down with Hanways.

Chelsea, a 4-year-old Bristol mum, described how she first stumbled upon the Child Welfare Institute, or CSI.

“Honestly, a Google search,” she said. “When I was six months pregnant, I wanted to take a parenting course.”

Chelsea took classes at CSI and later used the organization’s therapeutic services. Bristol is enrolled in an early childhood education center.

“They really focus on education and preparing your child for learning — teaching them how to learn,” Chelsea said. “Since (Bristol) started here, she’s just blossomed.”

Bristol was in a regular nursery as the family was waiting to open at CSI. This wait averages 14 months. The waiting list goes beyond preschool. For example, more than 150 children and adolescents are currently on mental health care, even though CSI has doubled the size of this program in the last six years.

President and CEO James Syme said the waiting list highlights the need.

“If you need psychiatric help, the wait is three to six months — it could be three to six years,” he said.

By early 2025, CSI will more than double its footprint and renovate existing facilities at 45th and Dodge Streets in Omaha. The organization cites “the rapidly growing need for pediatric and adolescent therapy, an expanded emergency shelter, supportive early childhood education services, and additional access to high-quality early childhood education.”

The fundraiser has about $28 million in hand, of which $18 million is needed to cross the finish line to bring “hope and healing” to more families.

Learn more about the Campaign for Hope:

Volunteers are also needed to serve food at the CSI Youth Shelter and for their Santa’s Deputy program.


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