If you’ve been following our Forever Family series, you know the panhandle region will roll out stage two of Community Based Care on March 1, 2022. Saint Francis Ministries will then become the sole community based care provider for region one. This will give Saint Francis more control over case management, foster care, and family reunification.

Gracie Bingham is a local foster parent who said she has been anxiously awaiting this transition. She said her biggest concern was losing momentum with their current case workers, but learned many of their case workers from DFPS are making the transition. Most importantly, Bingham said, the children will most likely keep the same case manager through the different stages of their care.

“In the past we have had a Saint Francis case worker and a DFPS case worker,” Bingham said. “So when we apply for things like daycare, it has to go from Saint Francis to DFPS and the Texas Workforce Commission and then back through those steps. So it will lessen the number of steps we have experienced.”

As with anything new, the transition will not come without its challenges and changes, but the goal is to build more community resources and local placement to keep kids from being sent out of region. Which is why Bingham said now is the time to any person considering opening their home to foster.

“It becomes less scary when you put faces to numbers,” Bingham said.