Statement from Saint Francis Ministries on Refugee Resettlement in Kansas

December 2019 · Ministry News

Saint Francis Ministries would like to offer our sincere appreciation to Gov. Laura Kelly for her continued support of refugee resettlement in Kansas. Gov. Kelly’s announcement Wednesday that Kansas will continue to accept refugees upholds the values and beliefs of Saint Francis Ministries, as we seek to protect, support and offer services for vulnerable populations, said Angela Smith, Saint Francis vice president of International Ministries.

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Saint Francis driver delivers children and hope

November 2019 · Ministry News

Bill Troester began driving for the Saint Francis Transportation department just over a year ago, leaving a “mind-numbing” job driving an airport shuttle bus to begin driving children throughout Kansas. “It’s been impactful. It’s been a godsend to me,” Bill said. “I spent my adolescence as a juvenile delinquent and later on went on to become an alcoholic and drug addict. I’ve been clean and sober for about 24 years. Now when I see young people starting to tread down the road I went down, I do my best to let them know that is a nowhere road. I let them know that God gives us all the drugs we need at birth – adrenaline, serotonin, endorphins – all you have to do is know how to trigger them.

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Transition Act proposed to support FFPSA implementation

November 2019 · Advocacy,Ministry News

Congressional champions for the Family First Prevention Services Act, who are working in a bi-partisan and bi-cameral manner, this week continued to demonstrate support of a successful FFPSA implementation. On Nov. 5, 2019, the House and the Senate introduced the Family First Transition Act, which has provisions designed to help states and stakeholders ease the transition to the federal child welfare financing structure in the FFPSA.

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“A different lens”: Kansas announces Family First grants

October 2019 · Ministry News

Saint Francis Ministries is excited to announce the receipt of two grants that will help Kansas work toward stabilizing vulnerable families and keeping children out of foster care. The Kansas Department for Children and Families on Oct. 1 announced the award recipients of its grants in support of the Family First Prevention Services Act. Saint Francis, based in Salina, Kansas, received awards of $729,267 for a Seeking Safety initiative and $2,871,371 to begin offering Family Centered Treatment in the state. The DHHS grant period for these awards is Oct. 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020.

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Saint Francis to create new future for St. John’s Military School campus

September 2019 · Ministry News

Leaders of Saint Francis Ministries and St. John’s Military School on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, announced a collaboration that will create a positive, empowering future for the school’s Salina campus. Saint Francis Ministries, the long-time Salina-based nonprofit that provides child welfare and adult services in six states and internationally, has agreed to take over the St. John’s campus and will lead a collaborative effort to establish future plans for the property.

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Reduce adversity, strengthen families: Jodie Austin to lead Omaha-area team

August 2019 · Ministry News,Press Releases

Community support and involvement are crucial elements necessary to meet the needs of children and families in Omaha and throughout Nebraska. Those words from Jodie Austin, who joins Saint Francis Ministries as the regional vice president in the Omaha, Nebraska, area, come from the heart of a leader who has worked in child welfare for more than 20 years. Her vision – to work herself out of a job – is a bold one.

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New Regional Vice President starts work in Texas

July 2019 · Ministry News

On July 15, 2019, Garcia joined Saint Francis Ministries as a Regional Vice President, serving in the West Texas area where the organization recently received a new contract to implement Community-Based Care in 41 counties. Although Garcia began his career in finance, he quickly followed his calling to work with children from “hard places,” he said. For the past 11 years, he’s worked in a variety of positions in the foster care system.

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Saint Francis Celebrates ‘Forever Families’

November 2018 · Ministry News

Dozens of Kansas children received their forever families last week as their adoptions were finalized at National Adoption Day celebrations hosted by Saint Francis Ministries. Of the nearly 400,000 children in foster care nationwide, more than 115,000 are awaiting adoption. Traditionally scheduled on the Saturday before Thanksgiving Day, National Adoption Day helps raise awareness about the need for adoptive parents and honors those who make the decision to welcome a child into their family.

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A Place to Call Home

November 2018 · Ministry News

Landon was the only child to walk through the Beltz door with a suitcase in his hand. He arrived at their Wichita home with his little red suitcase, packed and ready to leave again at a moment’s notice. That had, after all, been the pattern up to now. “He was very shy and reserved,” said Melanie Beltz. “He didn’t say much at first, but he was polite and helpful. I remember that he had a slip of paper with his grandmother’s phone number on it. He kept in his shoe, and that just about broke my heart.”

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Fostering Is a Family Affair

November 2018 · Foster Care / Adoption,Ministry News

Lydia Lund prayed for eight years that her husband, Tyler, would share in her desire for them to become foster parents. Thanks to a career in social work, she knew firsthand the effect a good foster parent can have on the life of a child. Although not completely opposed to the idea, Tyler just wasn’t sure if it was a good option for them. He and Lydia had recently started their own family and already had two little girls, ages five and two. Then one day, following a conversation with friends who are foster parents, something clicked with Tyler. Three weeks later the Salina couple were in a foster parent training course. “I knew that once he decided, we would go all in,” said Lydia.

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Teach Them to Realize Their Worth

October 2018 · Ministry News

It took an empty nest and a baby girl to show Lynda Cantu her life’s vocation. Four years ago, her mother called and asked her to take in Lynda’s six-months-old niece for a while. The child was about to be placed in foster care, and Lynda was the only family member qualified to keep her. She agreed, little realizing how that decision would affect her family and her life.

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Fostering in Faith: Gage

August 2018 · Ministry News

Gage was left with a sense of abandonment. That’s why this energetic, eager, and affectionate 7-year-old desperately needs a family to love and accept him unconditionally.

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KidzKamp wraps up another great weekend

June 2018 · Ministry News

Nearly 70 kids had a blast last weekend during three fun-filled days at the 2018 KidzKamp in Salina, Kansas. Once again, Saint Francis staff and volunteers hosted children from all over the state at the Webster Conference Center, bringing smiles to the faces of children in need of a few days of carefree summer fun.

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‘our hope is always to help those who need it most’

June 2018 · Ministry News

This spring, at Schlagle High School in Kansas City, Kansas, Debra McKenzie gathered a small group of students around her to discuss the health risks of cigarette and marijuana smoke on their lungs. One 18-year-old student moved in close to McKenzie and whispered that he had already quit smoking marijuana because he’s on probation. When she asked why he started using it in the first place, he said he had been depressed ever since his cousin was shot and killed. He just wanted the pain to go away.

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Saint Francis Migration Ministries will celebrate World Refugee Day, and you’re invited

June 2018 · Ministry News

In honor of World Refugee Day 2018, Saint Francis Migration Ministries, Saint Francis Community Services’ Wichita-based Refugee Resettlement program, will host a free celebration featuring live music and dancing, food, crafts, family-friendly activities, children’s soccer games and more on Wednesday, June 20, from 4 – 8 p.m. at Saint Christopher’s Episcopal Church, 2211 S. Bluff St.

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‘if you help them, if you care for them, you will grow to love them’

June 2018 · Foster Care / Adoption,Ministry News

Lately, we've been celebrating Saint Francis foster parents who provide security, care, and love every day to children in need. Foster parents see firsthand the remarkable ways children respond to structure and acceptance. They know well the transformative power of love to heal broken lives and families. Today, we share the story of Gabriel and Christ, who were recently named Saint Francis' Kansas Foster Family of the Year for 2017. Once you hear their story, you'll know why.

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Love is the whole point

May 2018 · Ministry News

May is National Foster Care Month, so we're taking time to celebrate some special Saint Francis foster parents who have opened their hearts and their homes to children in need. Foster parents see every day the remarkable ways children respond to structure, security, and acceptance. They witness firsthand the transformative and life-affirming power of love in the lives of the children they serve. Saint Francis provides foster care in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas. Nebraska foster parents Adam and BryAnna Brock are moved to foster in large part by their faith. Here is their story.

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‘This is what we signed up for’

May 2018 · Ministry News

May is National Foster Care Month, so we're taking time to celebrate some special Saint Francis foster parents who have opened their hearts and their homes to children in need. Foster parents see every day the remarkable ways children respond to structure, security, and acceptance. They witness firsthand the transformative and life-affirming power of love in the lives of the children they serve. The Ramirez family has seen it, and it has enriched their lives. Here's their story.

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Let’s talk about autism

April 2018 · Ministry News

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you know someone with autism. Perhaps, that someone is a member of your own family. Since April is Autism Awareness Month, we thought we we’d take a moment to … well, raise awareness.

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Whatever you do, don’t look the other way

April 2018 · Ministry News

Every April, we’re reminded that hundreds of thousands of children suffer abuse or neglect each year in the United States. The purpose of National Child Abuse Prevention Month is to raise awareness about the causes and conditions that contribute to an abusive relationship between caregivers and children. It’s also an opportunity to educate ourselves about how to identify and hopefully prevent abuse or neglect when we come across it.

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Today we wear blue

April 2018 · Ministry News

You might be seeing lots of blue today as Saint Francis staff and many of our community friends and partners dress to raise awareness about child abuse prevention. This month marks the 35th anniversary of the first Child Abuse Prevention Month, and today is Wear Blue Day, just one of the ways we try to shed light on the many every day actions we can all take to help prevent child abuse.

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Love calls you by your name

April 2018 · Ministry News

Easter Blessings! All Lent, we’ve been sharing weekly reflections by members of The Saint Francis Foundation’s Church Relations team. The Rev. Benjamin Thomas, Th.D., has written a few thoughts for today, The Feast of the Resurrection.

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Looking past token restrictions

March 2018 · Ministry News

This Lent, we’re sharing a series of weekly reflections provided by members of The Saint Francis Foundation’s Church Relations team. The Rev. Benjamin Thomas, Th.D., has written a few thoughts for this Friday.

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More to it than shenanigans

March 2018 · Ministry News

This Lent, we’re sharing a series of weekly reflections provided by members of The Saint Francis Foundation’s Church Relations team. The Very Rev. Chas Marks has written a few thoughts for this Friday.

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Match Madness will match donor gifts made to Saint Francis

March 2018 · Ministry News

Match Madness, a one-day event designed to generate new gifts to The Saint Francis Foundation endowment, is just a week away. Sponsored by the Greater Salina Community Foundation, every donation made to Saint Francis during the event will be matched, up to 50 cents for each dollar, with a cash grant for immediate needs.

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Looking for common ground

 · Ministry News

This Lent, we’re sharing a series of weekly reflections provided by members of The Saint Francis Foundation’s Church Relations team. The Rev. Benjamin Thomas, Th.D., has written a few thoughts for this Friday.

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Take a moment, be still

March 2018 · Ministry News

This Lent, we’re sharing a series of weekly reflections provided by members of The Saint Francis Foundation’s Church Relations team. The Very Rev. Chas Marks has written a few thoughts for this Friday.

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Forgiveness, the truest gift

February 2018 · Ministry News

This Lent, we’re sharing a series of weekly reflections provided by members of The Saint Francis Foundation’s Church Relations team. The Rev. Benjamin Thomas, Th.D., has written a few thoughts for this Friday.

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Let’s ‘add on’ this Lent

February 2018 · Ministry News

This Lent, we’ll share a series of weekly reflections provided by members of The Saint Francis Foundation’s Church Relations team. The Very Rev. Chas Marks has written a few thoughts for this first Friday of Lent. People often think of Lent as a time for “giving up” something. While fasting and self-denial are an important aspect of this holy season, Lent is also a time for us to “add on” practices that help us better live out our Baptismal call to be the Body of Christ in the world.

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Saint Francis celebrates adoptive families

November 2017 · Ministry News

This Saturday, more than 30 children will formally receive “forever families” during Saint Francis’ annual National Adoption Day celebration at Exploration Place in Wichita. Saint Francis staff, along with judges, attorneys, and clerks from the 18th Judicial District, will gather with adoptive parents and children to finalize adoptions and celebrate adoptive families.

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How to navigate Halloween safely

October 2017 · Ministry News

Streets and sidewalks in communities across the country will be filled with all kinds of odd little creatures hauling sacks and buckets door to door in a quest for bite-sized sugary treats. - By Shane Schneider

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Telling our Story at the 2017 Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes Conference

February 2017 · Ministry News

Saint Francis Community Services has been helping children and families since 1945. But it’s never had a dedicated giving arm. That changed in 2016 with the creation of The Saint Francis Foundation. We recently had the privilege of telling our story in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Our audience: the 2017 Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes (CEEP) conference.

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