Truth be told, most of us have probably experienced bullying in some form. It’s virtually impossible to escape middle or high school without becoming the focus of a bully at some point. It might come in the form of a verbal put-down, an act of physical aggression, or even a social media post.

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Run a quick Google search of “Saint Francis” or “St. Francis,” and look at the results. Odds are, you’ll see loads of links to churches, nonprofit organizations, hospitals, and others than have the 13th century Italian mystic as their namesake, St. Francis of Assisi. Why? What is it about him that inspires so many to consider Il Poverello (Italian for “the little poor one) both patron and model?

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We may be winding down our month-long celebration of child welfare workers, but we’ll never tire of thanking those who work so hard to secure the safety of children and to help families heal and regain wholeness. Child Welfare Workforce Development Month may come once a year, but the mission continues year-round.

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The first goal of foster care, after ensuring the children are safe and cared for, is to reunite them with their family. We call it reintegration, and it is one of the joys of our work – seeing a family work toward becoming healthy, begin the process of healing from trauma, change long-term patterns, maybe start the journey to sobriety, learn to communicate. . . the list of changes we see occur is long.

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