After months of anticipation and hard work, today, Saint Francis Ministries launched Stage II of Community Based Care here in the Texas panhandle on March 2, 2022. This move comes in partnership with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services for region one.

Cristian Garcia is the Vice President for Saint Francis Ministries, and he said stage one began in September 2021. His team has spent months setting up a network of support services and increased foster home capacity by 450% in the 41 county area.

“This is community owned work,” Garcia said. “Our churches, our elected officials, and regular moms and dads really engaging with our families to make them successful.”

According to Saint Francis Ministries, Community Based Care is a new service delivery model that specifically draws from its local strengths and resources to provide personalized care. Garcia said it is all about getting the community involved and moving back to a system to try and provide better outcomes.

“At the end of the day, we are moving towards permanency,” Garcia said. “Permanency for us is having the child safely back at home if possible.”

Garcia said transition work is challenging because all sides have to compromise in some areas, but his hope is for families to be the ultimate beneficiary of this work.

“If we can fix the family dynamic then we can fix the children that are a part of that,” Garcia said. “This is an opportunity to serve our community and serve it well. At the end of the day we want to bring our families together to stop the cycle of abuse and neglect and get our families to start thriving.”

Saint Francis Ministries has hired 175 new employees in the last year to prepare for this transition and is looking to add about 100 more in the coming months. If you would like more information on how to get started, reach out to Director of Community Engagement, Erin Baxter at erin.baxter@st-francis.org or 806.317.5631. You can also find more information at https://saintfrancisministries.org/.