Saint Francis To Start Serving in Arkansas

January 2019 · Foster Care / Adoption, Ministry News, Press Releases

The Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services has awarded Saint Francis a contract to provide in-home family preservation services for 15 counties in Arkansas’ northern Ozark and Mississippi Delta areas.

The counties include the communities of Pocahontas, Mountain View, Melbourne, New Helena, Monticello, and Forrest City.

The Very Rev. Robert N. Smith, dean, president, and CEO of Saint Francis Ministries, and Susan Hutchinson, First Lady of Arkansas, met at the Governor’s Mansion this morning to discuss the mission of Saint Francis and the important work the ministry will soon be doing in the state on behalf of Arkansas children and families.

The new Saint Francis offices will initially employ a director and three therapists to help the Arkansas program get off the ground. Eventually, the offices will be staffed with three or four additional therapists, and more could be added as the program expands.

“Saint Francis is excited for the opportunity to advance our mission of providing healing and hope to more children and families, and to share our expertise in family preservation in more communities around the country,” said Saint Francis President and COO Tom Blythe. “We’re also extremely pleased to be partnering with the Family Centered Treatment Foundation to implement the evidenced-based therapy model they have developed.”

The Foundation’s Family Centered Treatment (FCT) model is a comprehensive therapy approach designed for families in crisis who face the forced removal of children from their home or the dissolution of their family due to external or internal stressors and circumstances. It is a home-based treatment devoted to preserving the family structure and reducing the need for foster care and other out-of-home placements. The model has been refined based on research, experience, and evidence of effectiveness.

“FCT has been demonstrated to be an extremely effective therapy method for stabilizing youth and families,” Blythe said. “Saint Francis has long been recognized for its extensive experience working with families and youth who move between the child welfare, mental health, and juvenile justice systems. We are eager to couple that knowledge with the FCT’s therapeutic approach to help improve outcomes for Arkansas families.”

Interested in working for Saint Francis in Arkansas? Visit here.