A Promise to Serve – Family Services


In 2018, Lutheran Family and Children’s Services (LFCS) is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the theme “Promise.” One-hundred fifty years ago, Rev. Johann Buenger made a promise to help one young boy. Today, more than 46,000 children and families in Missouri receive services each year as our promise continues. To show our continued commitment to those we serve, we wanted to highlight a few people who make it possible for you to receive the support you need. Help us celebrate these shining examples of our mission brought to life.

Janeene Johnston, MSW, LCSW

Social Worker, Foster Care and Family Services

Q: How long have you worked for LFCS? 
A: I came to work for LFCS in 2003.

Q: What services do you provide to our clients?
A: I’m the adoption social worker and do home studies, inquiry calls plus adoption education. I provide post placement services for adoptive families of all types this includes domestic, international, relative, independent adoptions. I also work with our region’s foster families who provide temporary care for infants awaiting adoption or help in crisis situations.

Q: In what way do you feel like you are fulfilling a promise to those you serve?
A: I love being able to educate families and community partners about adoption; not just how to adopt and the process, but also the sacrifice a birthparent makes when making the decision to choose adoption.

Being able to help a couple fulfill their desire to build their family through adoption is a wonderful experience. So many of the adoptive parents I work with have struggled with infertility. Often I help them process their grief and loss related to those struggles. I also provide education on various types of adoption and help couples decide what type is best for them. By the time adoptive parents have received a placement, we have spent so much time together and it’s truly a blessing to see them become a family.

Q: What is a typical day like for you at LFCS?
A: I’m not sure there is such a thing. I may have several days in the office doing paperwork and then have several days where I’m traveling out of town, doing home visits or post-placement visits with families. I really enjoy traveling to visit my families.

Q: What is your favorite part of working at LFCS?
A: I love that I have the privilege of building relationships with families and kids. I enjoy seeing families over the years and watching their kids grow up, travelling to various parts of Mid-MO and building new connections with community resources. We have such an amazing group of co-workers in our Mid-MO office. Our entire Foster Care and Family Services staff is amazing and I’m lucky to be part of it.