Human beings will do pretty much anything for those they love, and little compares to the love of a grandparent for a grandchild. So, when Gena and Clifford Hailey realized Phoenix, 3, and Merlin, 2, needed help, they didn’t hesitate to step in. Their daughter had struggled with addiction and other mental health issues for years, resulting in the boys developing health problems of their own.
Licensed more than four years ago, the Tally family didn’t hesitate to wade into the deep end with their first long-term placement – a sibling set of four. Shortly afterwards, they added a fifth placement while the child waited for a kinship assessment. They’ve also fostered a teen, so she could remain in the community until she finished high school. They gave her a car and helped her apply for college and open a bank account. As far as Lance and Mandy are concerned, these actions are all just part of being an advocate for children in their care.
"We are excited to welcome Rachel to West Texas as she is a proven leader who has dedicated her life to improving child welfare systems to better serve children and families," says Cristian Garcia. He emphasizes her long career in child welfare, having served countless children and families over a span of nearly 20 years as a case manager, supervisor, and director at Saint Francis Ministries.
If you’re around Saint Francis Ministries Interim CEO William Clark very often, you’re going to hear the word integrity. For Clark, the concept of integrity is simple: Do the right thing at the right time for the right reason, even when no one is watching.
Trauma can result from a single incident, such as the death of a parent or child. Or it can manifest as what child welfare workers call “complex trauma,” exposure to multiple traumatic events over time, often of an invasive, personal nature and resulting in challenges with shame, trust, self-esteem, identity and emotion regulation. Saint Francis has recognized the need to understand trauma and its impact on emotional development since the mid-1970s, said Chief Clinical Officer Cheryl Rathbun.
Psychiatrist George Thompson brings decades of experience working with young people in residential facilities who have experienced trauma to his new role as medical director at Saint Francis Ministries’ Salina West facility.
Saint Francis Ministries’ donors don’t come in one size, shape or color. They aren’t all former foster children and many have never had any connection with the child welfare system. They aren’t one religion, or one profession, and they certainly don’t all agree on politics.
Raised a Baptist, Robert Price didn’t quite get the whole saint thing. So, when he and his wife, Angela, came across a statue of St. Francis at their local lawn and garden center in March 2020, he knew little about the Saint from Assisi. Yet, the statue intrigued him – even more so after Angela shared what she knew about Francis and why he seemed to matter to so many people.
Around this time last year, COVID-19 was mostly an ominous-sounding word hinting at a danger that the world was just beginning to discover. As the numbers climbed, healthcare workers watched anxiously and prepared, while scientists scrambled to learn more about this disease. In March 2020, none of us were sure what the virus was capable of. Into this risky and uncertain situation moved the 1908th Medical Detachment of the U.S. Army Reserve, based at Topeka, Kansas. Mobilized as part of the Urban Augmented Medical Task Force, they spent nearly four months in Texas, New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts providing behavioral mental health support to civilian patients and front-line healthcare workers in local hospitals. One of those soldiers was Sgt. Donald Holliday, a behavioral health social worker and an employee of Saint Francis Ministries.
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