National Day of Prayer Breakfast – Kerrville

BCFS Health and Human Services-Kerrville
National Day of Prayer, Kerrville, Texas
Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The BCFS System leadership has elected to host and sponsor a community breakfast in Kerrville in support of the 2018 National Day of Prayer. Created in 1952 and signed into law by President Truman, the National Day of Prayer is an inspiring way to bring people of all faiths together to pray and mobilize with a common focus.

Time: Coffee and music beginning at 7:00 a.m.
Where: St. Peter’s Episcopal Church – Tucker Hall
321 St. Peter’s Street, Kerrville, TX
Theme: Bringing our Community together in honor of National Day of Prayer
Menu: Steak, Eggs & More!
Catering by Rails

Please RSVP by April 26, 2018 to kathleen.maxwell@BCFS.net or call (830) 377-8061

Love Our Kids Family Day

Love Our Kids Family Day Entertains, Educates Community

Photo: Celeste with her daughter

SAN ANTONIO — Youth, families and community agencies convened on a brisk Saturday morning at the historic Woodlawn Gym for the fun-filled, carnival-like Love Our Kids Family Day on April 7. Sponsored by BCFS Health and Human Services-San Antonio’s Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) program, amid spirited balloon-stomping games, beanbag tic tac toe and some competitive 4-on-4 half court pickup basketball, a balloon-savvy clown molded latex sculptures for patient children mesmerized by her process, and focused artists produced superb caricatures and exquisite face make up.

Held in observance of April as Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month, the event afforded community agencies the opportunity to spread their unique messages of wellness, success and independence to San Antonio families. From youth and women’s rights and advocacy to community health and self-care, the Love Our Kids Family Day brought together individuals and causes that uplift entire communities.

“Youth enrolled in our BCFS-San Antonio programs are often enrolled in programs with our partner organizations,” explained BCFS-San Antonio’s Interim Regional Director Kimberley Rodriguez.

Photo: Love Our Kids Day Participants

“Today is simply an opportunity for parents and their kids to have fun together, to share a little information about community organizations, and let community members know that we are here if they need us.”

Among the crowd of more than 50, Ms. Black Texas, Chaunice Holley, walked hand-in-hand with her four-year-old daughter, Madison, between booths, collecting information and playing the kid-friendly games. Holley, crowned Ms. Black Texas in January 2018, has chosen to share the BCFS Health and Human Services-San Antonio mission with the broader audience of Ms. Black Texas.

Photo: Chaunice Holley and Madison

“I identify with the youth, with what they are going through,” she said when asked why she aligned her Ms. Black Texas campaign with BCFS-San Antonio’s message.

“Adolescence is a difficult time on its own, and then add the complications of not having a stable home or family; I’ve been there.”

Holley recalled the struggles her single mother and siblings went through in Allentown, Pennsylvania, remembering how a mentor helped her find a path to success.

“I recognize that one person can make a difference,” Holley explained. “I had that one person, so I love to be that person for someone else.”

Photo: Boy shooting hoops

BCFS-San Antonio’s PAL program provides services to youth aging out of the foster care system to expand their skills and knowledge, strengthen self-confidence, create healthy community relationships and learn self-guidance. PAL provides transition services to better prepare young adults for emancipation.

Visit Discoverbcfs.net/PAL for information and visit our Facebook photo album for more photos.

Communities United Against Child Abuse

Proclamations Reaffirm Community Unity for Child Abuse Prevention

In observance of April as Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness month, BCFS Health and Human Services in Del Rio and Tyler, Texas, participated in citywide proclamations on Friday, April 6, to reaffirm, along with their respective communities, their commitment to work to eliminate child abuse.

BCFS-Tyler accepted an invitation to Smith County’s annual Proclamation Day hosted by the Tyler Independent School District at Mamie G. Griffin Elementary where Tyler Mayor Martin Heines signed the proclamation.

Carla McCalope, BCFS-Tyler Program Director, considers the agency’s participation in the event another opportunity to stand in solidarity with the youth BCFS-Tyler serves.

“On a daily basis we deal with youth who have been affected by child abuse,” McCalope says. “We are there in support of them, the ones that we serve, and also in memoriam of the ones who have lost their lives as a direct result of child abuse.”

For the first time, BCFS Health and Human Services-Del Rio hosted the Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Proclamation Day at the Val Verde County Courthouse. More than 100 blue pinwheels turned in the breeze on the courthouse lawn as U.S. Representative Will Hurd (R-Texas), Texas State Rep. Alfonso “Poncho” Nevarez, Val Verde Judge Efrain Valdez and Del Rio Mayor Robert Garza, each signed congressional, state, county and city proclamations, respectively.

Proclamations will happen in communities across the country all month long as we observe April as National Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month.

Drug & Alcohol Abuse Awareness Event

Photo: Participants at Awareness Event

Nearly 25 teens aged 15-17 from the foster care system and those at risk of experiencing adverse, unstable circumstances took part in BCFS Health and Human Services-San Antonio’s Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) program’s No Day But Today drug and alcohol abuse awareness event. The event, organized by BCFS-San Antonio Program Director Deyanira Garcia, welcomed community organizations and the San Antonio Police Department to talk to youth about the pitfalls of drug and alcohol use and abuse, and how the phenomena can have dire consequences for more than just the user.

Garcia, who cultivates BCFS-San Antonio’s relationship with the Texas Workforce Commission to help youth prepare for entry into the workforce with job training, education, resume writing and applying for jobs in a way that is appealing to employers, organized the event in tandem with PAL to help prepare youth for making the right decisions when offered alcohol or drugs.

“Struggling with drugs and alcohol, unfortunately, is part of most of their lives,” Garcia says about the youth in attendance. “No Day But Today gives them access to a safe space to discuss the negative results that can happen from abuse.”

San Antonio DWI Task Force police officer Michael Thornton related how alcohol abuse has affected him personally; physically, mentally and emotionally.

“It’s not just your life that you’re screwing with if you’re out here drinking and driving,” Thornton said to the audience of teens and adults that included his partner, Officer Kimberly Kory. “It’s my life, it’s my partner’s life, it’s our families’ lives.”

Thornton remembered his friend and fellow officer Stephanie Brown, who was on duty when she was killed by a drunk driver in 2011 while he recovered from his own encounter with a drunk driver just two months prior. He recalled how in January of the same year, his late night help of a stranded driver on the highway shoulder ended when a drunk driver plowed through his patrol car, severing his right leg at the knee. He lifted his department-issued trousers to reveal a prosthetic limb while talking candidly about the multilayered and sweeping consequences of driving while intoxicated.

“He is now doing 16 years in the Texas Department of Corrections for intoxication assault on a public servant,” Thornton says of the individual who demolished his patrol car. “He has four kids that don’t see him anymore. His wife got a new boyfriend, and she never takes the kids up to see their daddy.”

BCFS-San Antonio community partners UT Teen Health, Chrysalis Ministries and J.O.V.E.N. joined No Day But Today to encourage the youth to learn more about each nonprofit agency’s programs and services that include health screenings, advocacy, and job and educational training.

Garcia would like to see the event happen annually as a way to reach youth with the message that there are people and places that can help them on their path to a stable and independent adulthood.

“I hope they see that they are not alone,” she says, “and that they know we are here to help them get past any issues they may be facing.”

BCFS-San Antonio’s PAL program provides services to youth aging out of the foster care system to expand their skills and knowledge, strengthen their self-confidence, create healthy community relationships and ultimately learn self-guidance. PAL provides transition services to youth ages 15 to 21 from the foster care system to better prepare young adults for emancipation.

Visit DiscoverBCFS.net/PAL for information.

BCFS Health and Human Services-Baytown Wins Patriotic Employer Award

Photo: Kenneth Williams accepting ESGR’s Patriotic Employer Award

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), A U.S. Department of Defense program, awarded BCFS Health and Human Services-Baytown’s Program Director Kenneth Williams the ESGR’s Patriotic Employer Award as an ally for his focus on hiring veterans and active reservists of the military.

BCFS-Baytown’s Administrator On Duty Pedro Martinez, an Air Force reservist, nominated Kenneth, who accepted the ESGR’s Statement of Support Certificate from ESGR-Texas Ombudsman Director George Nami at the BCFS-Baytown campus.

“It’s very important to hire and maintain a diverse employee pool that includes reservists and veterans,” says Kenneth. “Their commitment to our country says a lot about them. You can find great diligence and teamwork among these individuals, and these are key elements in accomplishing our goals.”

Kenneth has worked for BCFS Health and Human Services for more than a year. As Program Director in Baytown, he oversees the facility’s important operational details to ensure that each child entrusted to our care has their needs met on a daily basis. Kenneth is a Licensed Child Care Administrator and a Certified Assisted Living Administrator.

The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) was established in 1972 by the Department of Defense to promote cooperation between U.S. military reserve members and their civilian employers to help resolve conflicts that arise from an employee’s military commitment.

Congratulations, Kenneth, and congratulations to BCFS-Baytown for their commitment to the employment of our nation’s real-life heroes, our soldiers and veterans.

Anuncian fondos a programa piloto. Comisión de la Fuerza Laboral de Texas

El Manana – La Comisión de la Fuerza Laboral de Texas (TWC) anunció la adjudicación de 1.5 millones de dólares en fondos para el programa piloto de Recuperación de Abandono Juvenil de Crianza Temporal y Preparatoria (foster youth dropout recovery and High school completion) para ayudar a los jóvenes de criasu diploma de educación básica o su equivalente.

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