Saint Francis Ministries Expands Services in Nebraska

June 2019 · Ministry News, Press Releases

SALINA – Saint Francis Ministries was selected after an extensive review process to provide case management services in Nebraska, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday, June 4, 2019.

The Salina-based organization will expand the child welfare services it began offering in Nebraska in 2012 to provide case management services in the Eastern Service Area, comprised of Douglas and Sarpy counties.

The Very Rev. Robert N. Smith, Saint Francis CEO, president and dean, said at a press conference announcing the intent to award today that his team is very excited to be able expand the work they do in Nebraska.

“Our mission is to provide healing and hope to children and families,” Smith said. “We are excited about the possibilities encompassed by the Families First Prevention Services Act and look forward to collaborating with Nebraska’s leaders, businesses and organizations onthe best way to use child welfare knowledge and dollars at the beginning of a child’s contact with the system, where we can change their future.”

The five-year proposal is for approximately $196 million and includes the option of two additional years.

“We have posted our ‘intent to award’ Saint Francis a contract to provide ongoing case m

anagement services focused on supporting youth and families in the Omaha area,” said DHHS CEO Dannette R. Smith at a Tuesday press conference. “Based on their proposal, we are confident Saint Francis will deliver high-quality case management and child protection services that strengthen families and build protective factors for Douglas and Sarpy County children.”

The Eastern Service Area has nearly 40 percent of the child welfare cases in Nebraska and is the only area in the state where child welfare services are provided by a private contractor. Under the contract, DHHS will continue to provide initial assessment and community support services in the area.

Saint Francis currently provides kinship/foster care homes, adoption homes, family support programs, Intensive Family Preservation, Intensive Family Reunification and Family–Centered Treatment services to youth in central and western Nebraska.

The Omaha-based PromiseShip has been the child welfare case management contractor in the ESA since 2009 and is currently under contract to provide services through December 31 of this year.  Once a contract agreement is finalized and a readiness review is completed, Saint Francis Ministries will begin transitioning services.  The transition is scheduled to be completed by January 1, 2020.

“We look forward to working with both St. Francis and PromiseShip to enact a smooth and seamless transition,” said Matt Wallen, director of Nebraska’s Child and Family Services. “Maintaining support and protection for the Douglas and Sarpy county children and families who rely on each of us will need to remain the top priority during this time of change. Continuity of services is our number one priority.”

Smith said Saint Francis has a “simply bold” mission and vision, and works to transform lives and systems in ways others believe impossible.

“Underlying all of the work that we do is a belief that we must honor the spirit, the beauty, and the resiliency of children and families and that we do not do it alone,” he said. “To accomplish what lies before us all takes a commitment to buil

ding and nurturing community.”

About Saint Francis Ministries

Rooted in the Episcopal tradition, Saint Francis Ministries encompasses foster care, therapeutic foster care, adoption, family preservation, residential care and community outreach services, as well as refugee resettlement services through Saint Francis Migration


Founded in 1945 in Ellsworth, Kan., the organization now serves more than 31,000 individuals through child and family welfare services in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Illinois, and Central America. The organization is headquartered in Salina, Kansas. To learn more, visit


For more information, contact:

Morgan Rothenberger, 785.488.6947,

Lee Rettig, Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services, 402-471-8287,