That Sunday … well, it was both strange and chaotic. For Anika Pfannenstiel, it began with church and ended with a runaway sister and a trip to the police station. By the afternoon, officers had removed Anika and two sisters from their home as the three entered the Kansas foster care system. Monday, they went to court, where the judge awarded temporary custody to their older brother. In a matter of hours, 12-year-old Anika’s life had turned upside down.
Check out the second edition of our Hi-Lites e-zine. Read about our 25 years of providing therapeutic foster care, guardians ad litem, our foster and kinship families of the year, a generous young donor, and a whole bunch more.
– Saint Francis Ministries in Texas is excited to announce our engagement in Stage II contract negotiations with the Office of Community-Based Care. In this, Saint Francis will begin the transition of work within Region 1 in partnership with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. We appreciate the opportunity and confidence in moving to Stage II of Community-Based Care and look forward to serving the children and families in Region 1 in a greater capacity.
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.