SFM Advocacy Team outlines 2024 legislative agenda

January 2024 · Mission Brief

Since 1945, Saint Francis Ministries has served the needs of children and youth. Guided by our mission and vision, Saint Francis Ministries remains dedicated to the protection, nurturing, and healing of children and families.

Mission: Saint Francis, providing healing and hope to children and families.

Vision: Transform lives and systems.

These principles also guide the three primary components of the Saint Francis Advocacy Agenda for the 2024 Legislative session.


In a perfect world, children would never be removed from their homes. Yet, through prevention programs, we can safely reduce the number of children entering and remaining in care. By focusing on resource accessibility, communities can ensure children and families in care receive the essential goods and mental health, juvenile justice, and disability services they need.

Saint Francis Ministries supports prevention initiatives that give families the tools they need to remain whole and manage challenges. Advancing a prevention agenda promotes the strengthening of supportive community services, increasing the likelihood that youth can safely remain in their home communities.

Service Access:

While children are in out-of-home placement, SFM works to ensure children have access to services necessary to achieve timely permanency. This access includes services that are currently nonexistent, underutilized, or unavailable to children and youth with select needs.

Therefore, we advocate for the expansion of the service array to meet the needs of youth with complex behavioral health challenges, such as intellectual and development disabilities, autism, substance use disorder, delinquency behaviors, and complex trauma histories.


Staff safety, satisfaction, and retention are essential to the Saint Francis mission and to the field of child welfare. As a result, we remain committed to advancing long-term solutions to recruit, retain and enhance the skills of the child welfare workforce. Such a commitment involves ensuring the safety and security of personnel while performing their duties.

Questions about SFM’s Advocacy efforts? Contact Vice President of Advocacy Matt Stephens at Matt.Stephens@st-francis.org.