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.
Most people think of foster care when they hear “Saint Francis Ministries.” And that makes sense, especially since it’s one of our most recognizable programs. Yet, with this recognition, comes misperceptions.
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.
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.
Mary Gaston was just a little girl when she discovered a birth certificate with the name “Margaret” on it. It had to be her. The only other kids in the family were her older sister, Monica, and her younger brother, Bill. She knew that she and Bill were adopted, so by process of elimination, that meant her birth name was Margaret.
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.
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.
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.
For five years, it had been just the two of them. And they liked it that way. They traveled, spent time with friends, and had the time of their lives. But something inside him itched ... and it wouldn’t go away, no matter how hard he tried to ignore it.