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United Way of the Midlands Awards Funds to Critical Programs Supporting Local Children & Families

Child Saving Institute (CSI) recently received grants totaling $127,900 from United Way of the Midlands. Thanks to the generosity of United Way donors, CSI can continue offering services to children and their families who participate in the organization’s School & Family Enrichment (SAFE), KidSquad, Teen & Young Parent Program (TYPP) and Independent Living Skills (ILS) programs. United Way also provided funding to support the CSI’s Emergency Shelter and Mental Health Services (Pediatric & Adolescent Therapy) programs.


Lincoln Financial Foundation Awards Funds to Support At-Risk Youth in Omaha-Metro Community

Child Saving Institute (CSI) recently received a grant totaling $15,000 from the Lincoln Financial Foundation. Thanks to the foundation’s generosity, CSI can continue offering services to young adults participating in its Independent Living Skills (ILS) program and youth temporarily staying in CSI’s Emergency Shelter. 

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Child Saving Institute Guild to Host PurseOnalities Sept. 17

The Child Saving Institute (CSI) Guild will host its annual PurseOnalities fundraising event on Friday, September 17 at 11:00 a.m. at the Hilton Downtown Omaha. Funds raised during the event will positively impact children and families who have experienced abuse, neglect and trauma.

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Child Saving Institute Cancels Touch-A-Truck for Fall 2021

Child Saving Institute (CSI) is sad to announce the cancellation of Touch-A-Truck 2021. Due to the continued impact of COVID-19, we feel it is in the best interest of children and families to cancel this year’s event. 

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CEO of Child Saving Institute Peg Harriott Announces Retirement for Fall 2021

Child Saving Institute (CSI) announces the planned retirement of President & CEO Peg Harriott effective October 2021. While Ms. Harriott’s departure is slated for October, the exact timing will become more specific as a new President & CEO is identified and available. Ms. Harriott states, “My commitment to the board of directors, the agency’s dedicated staff, the Omaha community, and the children and families who rely on CSI’s serves is my foremost priority.”

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Child Saving Institute Board & Guild Raise Nearly $477,000 for Kids during Cabaret 2021

Child Saving Institute’s (CSI) Board of Directors and Guild Board hosted the agency’s largest fundraiser of the year, Cabaret 2021, May 8, at the Embassy Suites Omaha La Vista Hotel & Conference Center. The event raised nearly $477,000 to help Omaha-area children and families.

Funds raised during the evening support CSI’s quality programs, including parenting workshops, an emergency shelter for youth, therapy, older child adoption, foster care, independent living skills for youth transitioning to adulthood, pediatric social work and developmental early childhood education.


Child Saving Institute Appoints New Mental Health Services Director

Child Saving Institute (CSI) has promoted Lora Sladovnik, MS, LIMHP, as its new Director of Mental Health Services.

Sladovnik joined CSI in September 2020 as a Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner. She brings with her over 15 years of training and clinical experience working across a variety of settings including outpatient specialty clinics, crisis intervention, nonprofits and private practice. In March of 2021, Sladovnik transitioned into the Director or Mental Health Services role at CSI.


New Program Assisting Children and Families of Domestic Violence Comes to Omaha

Child Saving Institute (CSI) has partnered with the Women’s Center for Advancement (WCA) to launch a new program to bring healing and hope to children and their parents/caregivers who are survivors of domestic violence in the Omaha-metro area.

The collaborative Family Empowerment Program is designed to aid hope and healing for parents/caregivers and their children (ages 4-13) who have experienced domestic or interpersonal violence regardless of age, race, material status or gender identity.


Child Saving Institute Welcomes New Board Chair

Child Saving Institute (CSI) is proud to welcome Michael Geppert, Chief Information Officer of HDR as the new chair of the CSI board of directors. 

CSI also thanks former chair, Melanie Hecker for her leadership and service as board chair over the past two years. 


Child Saving Institute Closed Due to Weather

Due to inclement weather, Child Saving Institute will be closed on Friday, January 15, 2021. This includes our Early Childhood Education Center located on 45th and Dodge St. and the Spellman Child Development Center located on the College of Saint Mary campus.

Child Saving Institute Hires New Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and Appoints New Program Director

Child Saving Institute (CSI) welcomes Alicia Theilen, the Mental Health Services team’s first Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. The addition of Theilen expands the behavioral health offerings for children. Additionally, CSI promotes Katherine Hubbard to Director of Early Childhood Education.

Theilen brings with her more than 16 years of training and clinical experience in pediatric home health care, neonatal intensive care, emergency medicine, post-partum, medical/surgical and oncology. She holds a master's degree as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and is currently working on her postgraduate certificate in Psychiatric Mental Healthcare. 


Child Saving Institute Seeks Substitute Santas for Local Children Despite Pandemic

Once again, Child Saving Institute (CSI) will help put the happy in “Happy Holidays” for more than 700 children and teens in the greater Omaha area through its annual Substitute Santa program.

“This year has been tough for kids. Between being pulled away from school, missing traditional family activities, and not being able to see family members for months at a time, 2020 has been a hard year for families, and especially for children,” said Peg Harriott, CSI President & CEO. “Please join CSI to help give local children and youth a holiday they will never forget despite the pandemic.”


Child Saving Institute Guild to Host PurseOnalities Virtually on Nov. 5

Please join the Child Saving Institute (CSI) Guild to raise funds for vulnerable children in the Omaha community at its first-ever VIRTUAL PurseOnalities event on Thursday, November 5.

Attendees will enjoy a “Pretty in Pink” themed event with an opportunity to participate in an exclusive silent auction featuring over-the-top designer purse packages and hear from featured guest speaker Leigh Anne Tuohy.


Child Saving Institute Earns COA Reaccreditation

Child Saving Institute (CSI) has achieved national accreditation through the New York-based Council on Accreditation (COA). Accreditation demonstrates the implementation of best practice standards in the field of human services. COA evaluated all aspects of CSI’s programs, services, management and administration.

CSI provides fourteen services including: early childhood education, foster care, outpatient mental health therapy, family support, an emergency shelter, and more.

COA accreditation is an objective, independent and reliable validation of an agency’s performance. The COA accreditation process involves a detailed review and analysis of an organization’s administration, management and service delivery functions against international standards of best practice. 


Child Saving Institute Presents Tips for Managing Masks and Children

Designed with teachers and parents in mind, Half Hidden: A Book to Help Children Decipher Emotions Beneath the Mask, is a tool created by Child Saving Institute (CSI) employees Diana Shaw, LMHP, RPT and Michelle Halpine to assist with knowing how to help children and adults navigate emotions with their faces hidden behind a face covering.  

The human face is a portal into the world of others and reading facial cues has a basis in survival. The emotional expression of others helps decipher important clues about what is happening. The face is so interesting, and important, that just nine minutes after birth, newborn babies prefer to look at faces than any other object. How can children read adult’s emotions, and how can adults interpret children’s emotions if their face, the portal to the world, is covered?


United Way of the Midlands Awards Funds to Critical Programs for At-Risk Kids

Child Saving Institute (CSI) recently received grants totaling $132,900 from United Way of the Midlands. Thanks, in part, to the generosity of United Way donors, CSI can continue offering free services to children who participate in the organization’s School & Family Enrichment (SAFE), KidSquad, Teen & Young Parent Program (TYPP) and Independent Living Skills (ILS) programs. United Way also provided funding to support the organization’s Emergency Shelter and Mental Health Services (Therapy) programs. Additionally, funds for COVID-19 response were included this year.  

“We are extremely grateful for United Way’s support of critical programs for the prevention, intervention and healing of child abuse, neglect and trauma in the Omaha area,” said Peg Harriott, CSI President & CEO. “United Way donors should know that these funds help children and families in their own community find hope and healing.”


Child Saving Institute is Bringing Together the Community to Protect Children

In response to these uncertain times, Child Saving Institute (CSI) made the very difficult decision to cancel its signature fundraising event, Cabaret 2020, and adjusted its annual Dough in the Toe fundraising appeal for the first time in the organization’s 128-year history.

Without these two primary fundraising efforts, the agency will face a negative financial impact. Despite the uncertainty that the community, state and nation face due to the COVID-19 outbreak, CSI continues services to those who need it most.

During stressful economic uncertainty, those who are most vulnerable will suffer the most. “We know that when stress within a family increases, incidents of domestic violence and child abuse can increase,” said CSI President & CEO, Peg Harriott. “We need to be there for those children who are isolated from their friends, their beloved teachers and their caring therapists,” she adds.


Kum & Go Awards Funds to Support At-Risk Youth in Omaha

Child Saving Institute (CSI) recently received a grant totaling $5,000 from the Kum & Go Charitable Fund through the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines. Thanks to Kum & Go’s generosity, CSI can continue offering free services to young adults participating in its Independent Living Skills (ILS) program.

Each year, CSI’s ILS program supports approximately 70 vulnerable youth who are transitioning from foster care into unsupported adulthood.


Mutual of Omaha Partners with Child Saving Institute to Support Read Across America Day

Mutual of Omaha is partnering with five local organizations to support Read Across America Day. On Monday, March 2, nearly 70 Mutual of Omaha employees volunteered their time to read to children across the metro area.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Mutual of Omaha has participated in Read Across America Day partnering with Child Saving Institute’s (CSI) Early Childhood Education Centers to encourage children to read more and get them excited about reading.


Child Saving Institute Appoints New Program Directors

Child Saving Institute (CSI) has promoted Becky Bounds and Karla Sextro and hires new Marketing Director, Chelsey Haas.

Bounds joined CSI in early 2019 as the Adoption and Permanency Specialist Supervisor where she led a team dedicated to ensuring permanency for youth in the community. She received a promotion to Director of Child Welfare Services in November 2019.  

Sextro joined CSI in March 2019 as a licensed independent mental health practitioner and licensed alcohol and drug counselor. In February 2020, Sextro was promoted to Director of Mental Health Services. 

Haas joined CSI in October 2019 as the Director of Marketing. Haas is an experienced marketing and communications professional focused on the non-profit sector. Before joining CSI, Haas served as the Marketing and Communications Manager at PromiseShip in Omaha. 

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Reception Center Opens at CSI in Collaboration with DCJP & OPD

Child Saving Institute (CSI) has established a new Reception Center at its Mary Holland Campus, 4545 Dodge St. to provide a therapeutic environment for youth being charged with status or other minor offenses.

Status offenses include truancy, running away, possession of alcohol, ungovernable behavior, and other such conduct offenses that would not be crimes if they were adults.

The program operates in close collaboration with the Omaha Police Department and Douglas County Juvenile Probation. Law enforcement officers transport youth to the Reception Center, where they are met by a probation officer and CSI staff. CSI staff are able to address immediate needs, for food or clothing, for example, and assist in informing youth about the booking process.

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Cabaret 2019 Raises Nearly $440,000 to Help Omaha Area Families & Children

Child Saving Institute's (CSI) Board of Directors and Guild Board rocked Cabaret 2019, held May 11 at the Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District. The sold-out event raised nearly $440,000 to help Omaha area children and families!

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Get Ready for Family Fun at


September 7 • NEW TIME 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Just south of 69th & Pacific Sts. • First Data/UNO Parking Lots

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PurseOnalities Honors Hometown Heroes

Child Saving Institute's (CSI) Guild Board will host it's annual PurseOnalities luncheon from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 2, at the Hilton Omaha, 1001 Cass St. The theme is "Hometown Heroes."

Event Chairs are Seirra Burt, Sara DeMers, Gina McDevitt, and Carissa Schrager. Honorary Chair is Beth Schrager.

Special guest and keynote speaker is Patrick Friman, Ph.D., an unsung hero right here in Omaha. He serves as vice president of outpatient behavioral health services and clinical professor in the University of Nebraska School of Medicine pediatrics department. 

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Keaton, Sextro Join CSI Team

Roger Keaton and Karla Sextro have joined the staff at Child Saving Institute (CSI).

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Dough in the Toe Raises More Than $25,000 for CSI's Kids

With your help and the leadership of Adrienne Fay, the campaign exceeded its goal and raised more than $25,000!

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Emergency Shelter Helps Cameron Turn Around

Cameron arrived at Child Saving Institute's Emergency Shelter in fall 2018 with a negative mindset. He made it clear that he wanted to go home. He ran away with another Emergency Shelter resident four days after arriving. Two days later, Cameron turned himself in because he became extremely ill (he suffers from a recurring illness).

Upon returning, Cameron' behavior changed drastically. He became a role model for his peers, earned gold status daily, and exceeded expectations. He came to respect the staff and his peers. Cameron thrived when he could prove wrong anyone who doubted him. Read more!

Thank You for Your Amazing Support

Child Saving Institute (CSI) is very fortunate to have donors like you who are committed to helping children! Read more!





Stand-Up for CSI's Kids at Cabaret 2019

Child Saving Institute’s (CSI) Board of Directors and Guild Boardwill present its biggest fundraiser of the year — Cabaret 2019 — Saturday, May 11, at 6 p.m. at the Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District, 222 N. 10 St., featuring the return of comedian Jeff Dye. Read more!

Oliver Works Through "Big Feelings"

Oliver had a difficult time paying attention in class and, when he felt anxious, he would pick his skin until it bled. It turned out that a family friend had sexually abused him two years earlier, but attempts to engage Oliver in therapy at that time were unsuccessful... Learn more!


Listening a Major Key to Success

When Child Saving Institute Therapist Vanessa Summers begins working with a new client, she spends time building rapport with the child and family through active listening... Learn more!

Join CSI's Guild and Help Kids Today!

Membership in the Child Saving Institute (CSI) Guild provides an easy way for you to help children and families find hope and healing. Joining the CSI Guild does not require a time commitment, only a commitment to ensuring that area kids and families receive the help they need... Learn more!

Two Great Events Heading This Way!

The Child Saving Institute's exciting Touch-A-Truck is a free event for the entire family where children can see and climb on "real life" vehicles! Then as fall approaches, check out PurseOnalities with New York Times Bestselling Author, Laura Schroff... Click for more details!

AUNTYs Donates Books to Pediatric Social Work Program

Child Saving Institute’s (CSI) AUNTYs group recently provided 450 copies of the book “I Love You Like Sunshine” to the agency’s Pediatric Social Work program (PEDS). The PEDS program promotes screening and early identification of risk factors... Read more


Shelter Expands Therapy Program

Beginning in February, every youth who arrives for a stay in Child Saving Institute’s (CSI) Emergency Shelter undergoes a mental health assessment by a CSI therapist as part of the intake process, according to Teffany Murphy... Read more


Micah Overcomes the Odds

Micah was just 14 when he came to CSI’s Emergency Shelter. He arrived from the Douglas County Youth Center (DCYC), where he was held after making threats against his school, which expelled him. An assessment done by the DCYC upon intake showed that Micah would likely be a repeat offender... Read more

It’s a Wrap: Friends Provide Cash to Help Kids!

Child Saving Institute (CSI) is grateful to its extraordinary friends who support the children and families the agency serves.

Since January, CSI has wrapped up three distinct fundraisers. In total, generous donors provided $380,915 to help Omaha area children and families find hope and healing... Read more


Shelter Pulls Off Christmas ‘Miracle’

For most people, the holidays are a time for joy and spending time with family.

For the kids staying in the Child Saving Institute (CSI) Emergency Shelter, however, it can be a time of loneliness and frustration as most cannot go home to celebrate.... Read more

Donations Make Christmas a Happy One

Child Saving Institute's Emergency Shelter received a generous holiday gift in honor of Maureen Ricketts to provide a special holiday dinner for the youth in Child Saving Institute’s (CSI) shelter, knowing that it is hard to be away from family — particularly during the holidays... Read more

Mark Your Calendar

Cabaret 2018 — June 2

Foster Parent Orientation — March 19

FREE Parenting Workshop — Healthy Nutrition Feb. 14... Read more


Child Saving Institute supporters are extraordinarily kind and generous people!

Because of donors like you, CSI exceeded the holiday campaign goal to raise $125,000 in celebration of our 125th year in service... Read more


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