Supporting leadership development is a critical part of the Saint Francis Ministries culture. Through our work at the Kansas Leadership Center and the experience of our leaders, we embrace the idea that everyone is a leader – that it is an action, and not a position.

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Commitment to children and families doesn’t end with the work that's detailed in a Saint Francis job description – especially for many of our employees. When you help vulnerable kids and families, your heart and mind don't turn off when you leave the office. Many of our employees use their talents to give extra, taking time out from their personal lives to make a difference for kids.

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If anyone believes in redemption, it’s The Reverend Phil Snyder. For this Episcopal deacon, new beginnings are made possible through reconciliation and forgiveness. If that notion sounds familiar, it’s because Saint Francis Ministries founder, Fr. Bob Mize Jr., believed the same. He built a ministry on the conviction that forgiveness is one of the greatest instruments of transformation. Naturally, Deacon Phil agrees … because as a Saint Francis boy, he experienced it first-hand.

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This weekend, the United States of America celebrates its 246th birthday, and she doesn’t look a day over 229. Since the 4th falls on a Monday this year, many of our fellow Americans will get a three-day weekend, which usually sounds like good news to just about everybody. That means we can expect lots of outdoor fun like grilling, horseshoes, swimming, camping … and fireworks.

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Generally, between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, the former gets the most ink. After all, mothers give birth - which from what I hear, hurts a lot. So, they probably deserve the extra attention. Yet, more often these days, we hear about the enormous influence fathers have on the lives of their children. Studies and anecdotal evidence back this up. And we’re not just talking about birth fathers. Good foster fathers, adoptive fathers, and stepfathers all contribute towards the health and well-being of children and youth. Just having a positive, engaged male role model enhances the self-esteem and influences a child’s psychological, cognitive, and social development.

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Melissa and Michael Reed’s foster parenting story began more than 20 years ago, and it’s through foster care that they’ve built their family. It’s also led them to the path they now travel – one which they never could have predicted or planned. After adopting their daughter in 2002 when she was just four years old, they proceeded to adopt four more children who now range in ages from 13 to 24.

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