The late Gregg Nicklas and his wife, Lisa, became foster parents in December of 1980 and within a year had served seven foster children in their home. Feeling led by the Lord to care for Nebraska’s abused and neglected children, Gregg resigned from a successful marketing career. Christian Heritage opened its first children’s home for eight teenage boys in 1981. A girls’ home was opened in 1985. Since then, Christian Heritage has provided homes for literally thousands of Nebraska’s children.
Foster care services were added and Christian Heritage expanded into Central Nebraska in 1998 and into Omaha in 2002. The main administrative office is just east of Lincoln at 148th and Old Cheney Road.
In 2007, Christian Heritage became intentional in determining why, according to the Child Welfare League of America, Nebraska continued to lead the nation in the number of children, per capita, in the foster care system. We determined that a major contributing factor to children entering the foster care system is fatherlessness. Consequently, we launched the Christian Heritage Family Outreach.
In 2008 the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services asked Christian Heritage to work with incarcerated dads to teach them parenting skills and help prepare them to reunite with their children upon their release. The Destination…Dad™ program was created to assist these fathers and to restore families. Over 800 incarcerated dads have successfully completed the InsideOut Dad™ parenting program.
Our Kin-nect program was launched in early 2013 to help reconnect youth who have languished for years in foster care with relatives and other caring adults from their past.
Foster care youth often have been "in the system" and in many placements for years. They are waiting to "age out" and go into independent living. Although this sounds good, the results are dismal. No child should be launched out into the world without a family to support and encourage him or her.
So we are finding families...their families. Through Internet searches and social media, we are finding aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins who are willing to form a lifetime network of support. Some are even willing to become guardians and/or adopt them. These children are finding hope. They are finding a place to belong.
The vision of Christian Heritage is Families Restored, Children Filled with Hope and Prepared for Life. Our mission is to improve the lives of children by equipping families, promoting responsible fatherhood and improving marriages because we believe every child deserves a family. We are faith-based, strengths-focused and family-centered. Our purpose statement is to extend the love of God to orphans, at-risk children and families.