History of Extended Families of Nebraska

Cindy Lindner is the founder, owner, and Executive Director of Extended Families of Nebraska, LLC (EFN). She has over thirty years of professional experience and over fifty years of personal experience in the field of developmental disabilities. Her lifetime commitment to this field includes being a younger sister and guardian to someone who had Down syndrome, serving as a Direct Support Professional, working in all levels of management, and serving as a state representative, assessing provider compliance with state and federal regulations. After a year of developing policies, procedures, practices, and protocols, EFN became a certified provider and had their first Extended Family Home (EFH) placement on 01/01/11.

EFN has centered its residential services around the EFH model. This model provides supports and services to our customers within an family member’s, friend’s, or an endeared staff’s home. We believe this model provides the most natural, person-centered services possible. Currently, EFN supports 77 individuals receiving EFH services across eastern and central Nebraska. Cindy strives to ensure our Residential Coordinator’s caseloads are manageable, so our EFH providers are receiving the supports necessary to be successful. Cindy also expects the Residential Director and Area Director maintain a small caseload, to ensure they understand was is needed to support our EFH providers and their customer(s).

When it became clear to Cindy that some people receiving EFH services were not receiving the day services they deserved, she decided to open a day program. EFN began providing day services in Lincoln on 04/14/14. The day program is entitled “Abilities” where we are “focusing on Abilities, not disabilities,” Abilities currently supports 25 individuals. Abilities moved into our new day program and administrative building located at 4525 “F” Street in Lincoln on August 30, 2018. This building was purchased in March 2018 and has been remodeled to ensure the environment is clean, inviting, and accommodating to the people we support.

EFN has plans to expand our day services the Omaha metro area in 2019. EFH providers and guardians have been reaching out to administration for over a year, requesting this service. EFN is excited to be able to serve Omaha in this capacity!