Rathbun Retires After 45 Years With Saint Francis Ministries
July 2023 · Press Releases
Saint Francis Ministries announces the retirement of Cheryl Rathbun after 45 years of faithful and dedicated service to Saint Francis and to the children and families in our care.
Rathbun joined Saint Francis’ residential facility in Ellsworth in 1978 as a licensed social worker, serving conduct disordered male adolescents. A clinician at heart, she steadily advanced throughout her career, holding positions that included assistant director – Ellsworth, social work supervisor/therapist, director of clinical services – Ellsworth, corporate administrative director – clinical services, VP of clinical services, and chief clinical officer.
She designed and filled the first therapist position at the Ellsworth facility in 1989.
Throughout her career, Rathbun has advocated for system level change – from starting the first adolescent inpatient sexual abuse program to training other service providers how to treat adolescent sexual abuse. During her career, she’s appeared on television forums; participated in the development and implementation of PRTF standards in Kansas; influenced development of Joint Commission standards for Foster Care homes, adoption and case management through an advisory committee; served on a task forces for the development and implementation of the privatized KanCare in Kansas and national standards in Child Welfare League of America; and authored multiple articles on the treatment of adolescent males.
“Although I’ve loved my direct work with children and families,” she said. “I’m glad that Saint Francis has always supported system changing as part of the job, benefiting those same children and families.”
“Cheryl’s impact is hard to overestimate,” said CEO William Clark. “Not only has she been an extraordinary leader and asset to Saint Francis Ministries, but she’s had a significant effect on the field of child welfare in particular. Her retirement is a bittersweet occasion for Saint Francis. We will miss her dearly, but at the same time, we are also happy that she will have more time to enjoy family and friends and the next chapter of her life.”
Rathbun earned her BSW from Pittsburgh State University and a MSW from the University of Kansas. She plans to spend her retirement traveling and gardening.