History of Extended Families of Nebraska
Cindy Lindner is the founder, owner, and CEO 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, now known as Shared Living. 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 83 individuals receiving Shared Living services across eastern and central Nebraska. Cindy strives to ensure our Residential Coordinators’ caseloads are manageable, so our Shared Living providers are receiving the supports necessary to be successful. Cindy also expects the Area Director maintain a small caseload, to ensure they understand what is needed to support our Shared Living providers and their customer(s).
When it became clear to Cindy that some people receiving Shared Living 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 27 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.
Our Newest Journey
After years of planning, EFN officially moved in to our Omaha location at 9834 M Street in January 2021. In June, we began providing day services on Omaha and are rapidly growing! So far, our Omaha Abilities is small, yet mighty, and we look forward to see what it has in store!