BCFS Names Regina Woolridge Human Resources Executive Director

BCFS, a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations, has named Regina Woolridge as Executive Director of Human Resources. In this role, Woolridge will oversee daily human resources operations such as payroll, benefits, tax reporting and governmental compliance. She will also maintain personnel records for BCFS’ nearly 3,000 staff worldwide, assist executive management in employee annual reviews, and support internal auditing.
Woolridge joins BCFS with diverse and extensive human resources management experience, from supporting hospital executives, to overseeing human resources for a research foundation and aerospace firm. Woolridge is a certified Human Resources Professional, holding a Master’s degree in Human Resources and Management from Webster University.
“BCFS is a complex system, operating programs funded by local, state and federal government partners, as well as private foundations. It is critical that we ensure full compliance with contract requirements, all while maintaining a personal ‘human’ touch to support those who are carrying out our life-changing work,” said BCFS President & CEO Kevin C. DInnin.
“Together with our Talent Management Division, we’re building and retaining an amazing BCFS team.”

Tyler Youth in Foster Care Celebrate Back-to-School

BCFS Health and Human Services hosts annual trip to encourage youth to stay in school

BCFS Health and Human Services celebrated the end of summer with 90 youth, enjoying a day of rollercoasters, zip lines and boat rides at Kemah Boardwalk for its third annual Back-to-School Bash on Friday, July 31. BCFS operates a resource center in Tyler that serves youth in and aging out of foster care, as well as other young adults facing challenges like homelessness, poverty, or those recovering from physical and emotional abuse. The center is a “one-stop shop” that provides counseling, case management, and assistance with education, employment, housing location and medical care.
Each year, the agency organizes an annual Back-to-School Bash as a reward for youth who have stayed in school, focused on their schoolwork and participated in BCFS programs and events throughout the year geared toward keeping them on a solid path toward success and independence.
“This event celebrates the accomplishment of the youth completing the year, and gets them excited and geared up to go into the next school and program year with us,” explains BCFS director Carla McCalope.
“We update the youth on programming available at the center for the coming school year, too. Our motto with the youth is ‘Stay Connected,’ and the Back-to-School Bash helps us do just that.”
BCFS works with youth in and aging out of foster care, and those at-risk of facing challenges such as homelessness, poverty, abuse, or neglect. Statistically, youth in foster care are less likely to excel in school, graduate high school or go to college. McCalope says the Back-to-School Bash is also a way to encourage the high school juniors and seniors in attendance to discuss and prepare plans for college.
Community partners that supported the Back-to-School Bash include BCFS, 4Imprint, Zion Temple, Chuck’s Travel, CiCi’s Pizza and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

BCFS Names Harilall as Controller

BCFS, a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations, has named Suraj K. Harilall as controller. In this role, Harilall will oversee the system’s day-to-day, worldwide financial operations; guide long-term fiscal planning; and ensure compliance with multi-state and foreign reporting requirements.
“Suraj has the experience and expertise needed to effectively oversee BCFS’ complex financial functions, and I am confident he will maintain the high standards by which our agency’s financial operations are run,” said Claudia Oliveira, CPA, BCFS Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
Most recently, Harilall served as chief financial officer at the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio and controller for the YMCA of Greater San Antonio. He brings extensive experience in non-profit and corporate financial management, including grant and contract administration, which plays an integral role in BCFS’ funding streams. He is also well versed in financial and budgetary regulations and requirements set forth by federal agencies and private entities.
Harilall earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Accounting and Corporate Finance from St. Mary’s University.

BCFS in Kerrville Receives $170,000 Grant from Perry and Ruby Stevens Charitable Foundation

Perry and Ruby Stevens Charitable Foundation Donates $170,000 to Furnish New BCFS’ Texas Hill Country Resource Center and Apartments

BCFS Health and Human Services has received a $170,000 grant from the Perry and Ruby Stevens Charitable Foundation to help furnish its Texas Hill Country Resource Center and youth apartments.
The new BCFS Texas Hill Country Resource Center, set to open later this year, will be the cornerstone of Kerrville’s non-profit block, offering a variety of programming and services through several area non-profits that will be headquartered in the 20,000-square-foot structure.
BCFS’ transitional living apartments provide housing to youth aging out of foster care, and other young adults struggling with homelessness. Updates to the apartment complex began earlier this year, including kitchen and bathroom upgrades. In 2008, the Perry and Ruby Stevens Charitable Foundation donated $100,000 to help turn the original complex into apartments for BCFS youth.
“The trustees of the Perry & Ruby Stevens Charitable Foundation are proud to play a part in the development of the BCFS Texas Hill Country Resource Center and the apartments,” said Laurie Milton, Executive Director for the foundation. “The primary focus for Mr. & Mrs. Stevens was helping at-risk youth. The apartments will provide stable housing for youth who are emancipated from foster care.  The numerous nonprofits that will be located in the Resource Center will provide an environment of services for struggling families in the community. We are excited to participate in this new venture in our community.”
In addition to housing the many BCFS Health and Human Services programs, Art2Heart, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Families & Literacy, Inc., Hill Country Ministries and New Hope Counseling have signed on as tenants in the new building. Space is still available at the center for other community-based non-profit agencies.
“We are grateful for the continued partnership of the Perry and Ruby Stevens Charitable Foundation,” said Brenda Thompson, BCFS director in Kerrville. “With this grant, we are one big step closer to opening our doors later this year and welcoming youth and families in need, plus all our community partners, into a top-notch facility our whole community can be proud of.”
“The BCFS Texas Hill Country Resource Center not only offers clients the convenience of finding an array of services in one place, but the close proximity of the agencies working in the new center will also help them work more efficiently,” says BCFS Development Director Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie. “Collocating under one roof will encourage communication; ensure non-duplication of services; and leverage the talents and resources of each non-profit to effectively address the needs of each child and family.”
The transitional living apartment complex is a drug- and alcohol-free facility consisting of eight units, with one unit reserved for a resident advisor. Tenants must be transitioning out of the foster care system or be receiving case management from BCFS in order to be eligible for residency. BCFS works with tenants to help them gain independence by providing job placement services, counseling, and help getting into college or trade school.

BCFS Education Services Expands Throughout Texas

New sites in Bee, Blanco, Gillespie, Goliad, Live Oak, and Refugio counties promote academic achievement and school readiness for children ages 3-5

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded BCFS Education Services competitive grants to expand its Head Start work to Bee, Blanco, Gillespie, Goliad, Live Oak, and Refugio counties. The program aims to propel children ages 3 to 5 from disadvantaged backgrounds toward academic success and prosperity through the provision of educational, health, nutritional and social services.

Staff who were employed by the previous Head Start provider have been invited to apply for positions with BCFS Education Services.

BCFS Education Services currently operates 91 Head Start classrooms in 24 sites across Texas. BCFS Education Services’ new “Stonewall” program in Blanco and Gillespie counties continues the Head Start tradition where, in 1965, the first Head Start school in Texas was formed near LBJ ranch.

Head Start provides education, health and social services to pre-school children, helping to build strong foundations for success rooted in academic achievement and healthy living. The program promotes school readiness by enhancing the child’s social and cognitive development, while advocates for the child’s family connect them to helpful community resources.

“Thanks to the support of our community partners and public leaders, we are excited to expand our Head Start programs throughout Texas,” said BCFS Education Services Board Chairman George Cowden III. “Together, we will ensure children acquire the skills and confidence they need to be prepared for success in kindergarten and throughout their academic career.”

Families interested in applying may call (830) 331-8908 for details. Applications are available online at DiscoverBCFS.net/HeadStart, along with a list of necessary enrollment documents.

Services for children and families include:

  • Preschool
  • Individualized teaching
  • Degreed teachers
  • Bilingual services
  • Social services
  • Parent trainings
  • Meals and snacks
  • Disability services
  • Dental exams
  • Mental wellness
  • Health services
  • Field trips
  • Bus and ADA transportation (not available at all locations)

A child is eligible to enroll in Head Start if he/she falls in one of these categories:

  • The child is in foster care
  • The family is homeless
  • The family receives Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • The family has a gross income below federal poverty guidelines
  • The child has a family member living with and supported by the child’s family receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

To be eligible, the child must be 3 or 4-years-old on or before September 1, 2014 and live in one of the counties listed above.

For more information about BCFS Education Services, visit DiscoverBCFS.net/HeadStart.

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BCFS Education Services is part of a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations led by BCFS, focused on boosting educational readiness and outcomes in the classroom, as well as ensuring families have the resources, tools and information needed to start their children’s lifetime of learning off on the right foot. 

Cohen to Serve as Executive Director of BCFS Education Services

BCFS’ transitional living apartments provide housing to youth aging out of foster care, and other young adults struggling with homelessness. Updates to the apartment complex began earlier this year, including kitchen and bathroom upgrades.

BCFS Announces Cohen as Executive Director of the System’s Educational Non-Profit, BCFS Education Services

Also names Carrejo de Avila as Director of Operations

Founded in San Antonio in 1944, BCFS is a global system of six health and human service non-profit corporations impacting the lives of millions from coast-to-coast and around the world. BCFS Education Services, the system’s entity focused on early education, has recruited top talents to lead the rapidly expanding organization with the appointment of Cathi Cohen as executive director and Janet Carrejo de Avila as Director of Operations.

Cohen has more than 20 years of experience in senior management and was most recently a long-serving executive for a national system of charter schools, overseeing operations, regulatory compliance, training initiatives and new school development along the East Coast. As executive director of BCFS Education Services, Cohen will oversee the organization’s 91 Head Start classrooms in 24 sites in Texas.

Carrejo de Avila most recently led BCFS’ Head Start programs in Atascosa, Karnes and Wilson counties. She has more than 25 years of experience in Head Start, as well as a Master’s of Education in Early Childhood Development, with a minor in Special Education; plus a number of additional education- and safety-related certifications and credentials.

“Cathi is a dynamic leader with strong mastery of fiscal management, in addition to a true passion for delivering the highest quality of education to students from various backgrounds,” said BCFS Education Services Board Chairman George Cowden III. “Together with Janet’s Head Start expertise, our organization is well-poised to deliver exceptional educational results and support to the children and families we serve.”

Head Start is a national program that promotes school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children by providing educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to enrolled children and families. This year, Head Start is celebrating 50 years of propelling children ages 3 to 5 from disadvantaged backgrounds toward success, focusing on helping preschool-aged children form strong foundations built upon academic excellence and healthy living.

For more information about BCFS Education Services, please visit DiscoverBCFS.net/HeadStart.

 

# # #

BCFS Education Services is part of a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations led by BCFS, focused on boosting educational readiness and outcomes in the classroom, as well as ensuring families have the resources, tools and information needed to start their children’s lifetime of learning off on the right foot.

 

 

Del Rio Judges Celebrate 10-Year Partnership

Del Rio Judges Celebrate 10 Years of Serving Youth and Families through BCFS Health and Human Services Partnership

BCFS hosts appreciation breakfast honoring five local Judges

DEL RIO – In ten years of partnership with BCFS Health and Human Services, Del Rio judges have referred thousands of youth and families to the organization for crisis intervention, counseling and domestic violence services. To celebrate this partnerhip, BCFS hosted an appreciation breakfast June 18 for Justices of the Peace Hilda C. Lopez, Pat Cole, Jim Bob Barrera and Antonio Faz III, as well as County Judge Efrain Valdez.

Every month, the judges collectively order about 30 teens, young adults and families to participate in BCFS programs, mostly for misdemeanors or truancy. According to BCFS director Raquel Frausto Rodriguez, the judges review their dockets ahead of time and invite BCFS case managers into the courtroom to give on-the-spot referrals.

In many cases, the judges will defer fines or court costs, or clear the offense from the record if the youth or family joins a BCFS program and receives a certificate of completion. Rodriguez calls this longtime partnership an honor and a privilege.

“We work closely to identify the issues that are the root cause of each teen’s misbehavior or poor choices,” says Rodriguez. “If a student faces truancy charges and a judge sends them to us, BCFS works with the youth and family as a whole to find the real problem. Maybe they don’t have a car, or are being bullied at school, or they suffer abuse in the home. Perhaps their parents need them to go to work instead to pay the bills.”

BCFS operates the Services To At Risk Youth program, known as STAR, which aims to reduce family conflict and prevent delinquent behaviors, running away, and child abuse by helping youth and their families learn to resolve crises and develop coping and parenting skills. It includes free counseling, support groups, trainings, basic needs support, and emergency respite placements.

BCFS’ domestic violence program provides safety, support and resources to victims of abuse, as well as promotes violence-free relationships and abuse prevention.

“The youth of our community are our leaders of tomorrow,” said Precinct 2 Justice Faz. “Having the ability to intervene at a young age and the possibility of turning their lives around means that we as a community have succeeded.”

Even after the courtroom referral, the judges stay in close contact with BCFS.

“We keep the lines of communication open with our judges and work hand-in-hand to see how we can remove any barriers our families face,” says BCFS’ Rodriguez. “Sometimes all they need is transportation, childcare or basic assistance to come to counseling sessions or classes.”

Judge Valdez, who has served the community for 35 years, calls himself an “advocate” of BCFS programs.

“Seeing firsthand the dedication of the BCFS staff and the outstanding results that our youth and families experience has inspired me greatly,” Precinct 3 Justice Cole shared at the breakfast.

Justice Barrera (Precinct 1) recalled a memorable case he referred to BCFS.

“Back in April, a teenage girl from Mexico was attending school here in Del Rio. It was hard for her to socialize in the new environment,” said Barrera. “When she finished the BCFS class, she improved her grades to As and Bs. For me and my staff, it was something wonderful for us to have shared with her.”

Justice Lopez (Precinct 4) expressed her thanks to BCFS at the breakfast for “not giving up on people who do not realize they are in need of help.”

She added, “What inspires me to connect people to BCFS is the staff who show their concern and want to help people. BCFS’ services are inspiring because we can advise people of what is out there for them.”

The appreciation breakfast was held at Lighthouse United Pentecostal Church in Del Rio Thursday, June 18. The staff members of all five judges, who play a key role in assisting youth and families alongside BCFS, were also in attendance.

To learn more about BCFS Health and Human Services, or to support BCFS’ local programs, visit DiscoverBCFS.net/DelRio.

 

# # #

BCFS is a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations with locations and programs throughout the United States as well as Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. The organization is a national leader in medical sheltering and emergency management and response, providing critical emergency support services to federal, state and local governments. BCFS also provides residential services and emergency shelters for children who are abused or neglected; assisted living services and vocational training for adults with intellectual disabilities; mental health services for children and families, foster care and adoption services; medical services; early education; transitional living services for youth who are at-risk and those in the juvenile justice system; residential camping and retreats for children and families; and international humanitarian aid for children living in impoverished conditions in developing countries.

Hill Country Quilt Guild’s Craftwork Covers BCFS Youth

Photo: Beatriz Perez with her gift

KERRVILLE – The Hill Country Quilt Guild celebrated the graduation of 15 BCFS youth in foster care from high school by presenting each of them with an original handmade quilt.

This donation is the Quilt Guild’s second donation to BCFS youth. In 2013, The Quilt Guild donated their handiwork to graduates of BCFS’ YouthBuild, a job readiness and leadership program.”

“The youth have been coming in to pick up their quilts and they’ve been very appreciative,” said BCFS Kerrville center case manager Kimberly Clayton. “It has been a lot of fun to give these out.”

The BCFS center in Kerrville provides services for local families and at-risk youth and youth aging out of the foster care system to expand their skills and knowledge, strengthen their self-confidence, create healthy community relationships and help youth learn positive self-guidance.


To learn more about the BCFS center in Kerrville, visit DiscoverBCFS.net/Kerrville.

New BCFS Texas Hill Country Resource Center

KERRVILLE – BCFS Health and Human Services’ new Texas Hill Country Resource Center – the cornerstone of Kerrville’s non-profit block on Main Street – is a hub of activity these days. The 20,000 square-foot structure being built by Hill Country contractor JM Lowe is on schedule to open its doors this Fall. While new digs bring a certain energetic buzz, it’s what will happen under the new center’s roof that’s cause for the real excitement.

BCFS Infographic

Infographic Long Description

The new BCFS center will be the headquarters for several area non-profits offering life-changing outreach and programming to the Hill Country community. In addition to housing the many BCFS Health and Human Services programs, Art2Heart, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Families & Literacy, Inc., Hill Country Ministries and New Hope Counseling have signed on as tenants in the new building, and space is still available at the center for other community-based non-profit agencies.

The site not only offers clients the convenience of finding an array of services in one place, but the close proximity of the agencies working in the new center will also help them work more efficiently: encouraging communication; ensuring non-duplication of services; and leveraging the talents and resources of each non-profit to effectively address the full-spectrum, specific needs of each child and family.

BCFS is leasing space for only $10 per square foot, significantly lower than the average local rate of $15 according to Sue Tiemann with Hill Country Property Management and Commercial Realty Services (830-792-5775). This competitive rate also includes furnished offices, state-of-the-art communication technology, a large conference room, a computer lab and other shared common areas.

BCFS’ director of operations in Kerrville, Brenda Thompson, is excited for the new center. “This center is going to be the most robust site for care and compassion for children, young adults and families throughout the Hill Country.”

In addition to recruiting additional tenants, BCFS is spearheading fundraising efforts to furnish the facility. Naming rights are available for spaces throughout the center, beginning at $1,200.

“Sponsoring one of the spaces in our center is not just a great way to help a child or family in need today, but also an incredible opportunity to permanently honor or memorialize someone you love,” says Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie, BCFS Development Officer.

To support the work at BCFS’ Texas Hill Country Resource Center or to learn more about working in the new facility, contact Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie at (830) 928-9387.


BCFS is a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations with locations and programs throughout the United States as well as Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. The organization is a national leader in medical sheltering and emergency management and response, providing critical emergency support services to federal, state and local governments. BCFS also provides residential services and emergency shelters for children who are abused or neglected; assisted living services and vocational training for adults with intellectual disabilities; mental health services for children and families, foster care and adoption services; medical services; early education; transitional living services for youth who are at-risk and those in the juvenile justice system; residential camping and retreats for children and families; and international humanitarian aid for children living in impoverished conditions in developing countries.

Youth strut their stuff at BCFS fashion show

Program DirectorStacy Lee -and Lead Case Manager Verena Silva

SAN ANTONIO – A group of young adults in foster care, and some who aged out of the system, strut their stuff at a fashion show last week hosted by BCFS Health and Human Services. The Dare to Dream Fashion Show featured 16 male and female models from the Preparation for Adult Living program that helps youth transition from foster care into adulthood and independence. About 200 guests attended the show at Granberry Hills in San Antonio on Wednesday, June 10th.

“We host the fashion show to encourage young adults to build self-respect and learn how to carry themselves with confidence,” says BCFS case manager Verena Silva. “Ultimately, we want them to dream big.”

The models wore outfits from Plato’s Closet, styled to demonstrate fashionable but appropriate looks for daily wear, professional attire, and a night out on the town. At the end of the show each model was presented a trophy, and the group cheered after the surprise announcement that they could keep their stylish outfits.

The fashion show marks the end of the Empowerment Series, a group of workshops held at the BCFS center to educate youth on how to make safe, informed decisions while building leadership skills. The workshops brought together young adults in foster care, those in the juvenile justice system, and teens overcoming abuse to discuss motivation, career opportunities, and self-esteem.

Sponsors for the fashion show included Granberry Hills, Plato’s Closet, Aveda, Youth Transitioning Into Adulthood (YTIA), the National Council of Jewish Women, Superior Health, All Access Tags, and One Sound DJ Productions.

The BCFS center serves young people in and aging out of foster care, as well as other young adults facing challenges like homelessness, poverty, teen pregnancy, or an unstable home life. The center is a “one-stop shop” that provides counseling, case management, and assistance with education, employment, and housing location.

To learn more about BCFS Health and Human Services, visit DiscoverBCFS.net.


BCFS is a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations with locations and programs throughout the United States as well as Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. The organization is a national leader in medical sheltering and emergency management and response, providing critical emergency support services to federal, state and local governments. BCFS also provides residential services and emergency shelters for children who are abused or neglected; assisted living services and vocational training for adults with intellectual disabilities; mental health services for children and families, foster care and adoption services; medical services; early education; transitional living services for youth who are at-risk and those in the juvenile justice system; residential camping and retreats for children and families; and international humanitarian aid for children living in impoverished conditions in developing countries.