Governor’s Office Awards Grant For Domestic Violence Survivors

DEL RIO – The Criminal Justice Division of the Texas Governor’s Office has awarded BCFS Health and Human Services $54,000 to expand its current services to victims of domestic violence in Val Verde County with the PAST program, or Peers Achieving Success Together. The PAST program provides crisis intervention, victim advocacy services, and peer support groups to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking crimes in Val Verde County.

“Over the next year, we expect to serve at least 100 victims of abuse through PAST, providing direct crisis intervention services,” says Delia Ramos, interim director for BCFS Health and Human Services in Del Rio. “This grant reaffirms Texas’ view, from the highest level, that abuse, in any form, is unacceptable, and there is no place for it in our society.”

Last year in Texas, more than 23,000 adults and children sought shelter from an abusive environment, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. One in three women in Texas is affected by abuse at the hands of a boyfriend, spouse or intimate partner.

Family Violence Specialists with the PAST program provide individualized needs assessments, crisis counseling, transportation services, safety planning and referrals to other community organizations for additional support as-needed. PAST also provides peer support groups, where program staff and abuse survivors utilize the Duluth Model curriculum, Tácticas de control: La visión de la mujer. The curriculum includes the first-person accounts of six Latinas who have survived abuse, and how the experience has affected their children, their relationships and themselves.

“Del Rio has a large Hispanic population, and we are mindful of the cultural nuances within our community,” adds Ramos. “Through the stories of these Latina survivors, Tácticas de control offers insight into an abuser’s mindset and how a relationship can evole into something unhealthy and dangerous.”

The Duluth Model, named after the small Minnesota town where it was developed, is a framework of ideas and information about domestic violence that asserts involvement from the entire community is critical to ending domestic abuse for good.

BCFS Health and Human Services has operated the Domestic Violence Del Rio (DVDR) program for five years, providing safety, support and resources to victims of abuse. BCFS also 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.

To learn more about BCFS Health and Human Services, or to support BCFS’ work in Del Rio visit

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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.




Healing from the inside out

Healing From The Inside Out

By Ecaterina Babin

*Featured in BCFS’ annual together magazine

Cristina was born in Moldova, the youngest sibling of four older brothers. Her mother was addicted to alcohol and became increasingly violent and abusive as her drinking worsened. She brutally beat Cristina, while her father did nothing to protect her. Her father neglected Cristina and her brothers, staying away from home as much as possible to avoid the harsh reality that his family was suffering.
Cristina’s mother died of a cerebral stroke in 2009. Even though Cristina has traumatic memories of her mother, she still misses her.
When she was 12, Cristina started having health problems. She had surgery on her appendix and later began experiencing epileptic seizures. She developed a spine tumor – all the while, her father showed no interest in helping her get critical medical treatment. Cristina was put on medical disability and spent most of her time at the hospital. Despite that, she managed to finish middle school with good grades.
After undergoing another surgery in 2011, Cristina found herself with no money or permanent place to live. A woman who worked at the hospital told Cristina about Children’s Emergency Relief International (CERI), the overseas division of BCFS. Cristina wanted to start a new life and get an education, but her dreams felt hopelessly out of reach. In the fall of 2012, she asked CERI for help.
Cristina spent the next three years in CERI’s Transitional Care program, which provides case management, access to education and vocational training, financial literacy and life skills training, and guidance on how to avoid human traffickers that run rampant in the region. CERI helped place Cristina in a Christian center where she started going to church, and ultimately professed her faith in Christ. Soon after, she was accepted into the Christian University to study social work.
Things were looking up for Cristina! She enjoyed her college classes, and had a new church “family” to encourage her – but she was still very ill. She was hospitalized several more times that year, and ultimately underwent radiation therapy.
Today, she has a clean bill of health, she feels much better and believes that God has healed her. Cristina is in her third year of college and going to class in the evenings. She is a member of New Testament Church in Chisinau, Moldova, where she serves in their Sunday school program.


Registration Information for Comfort ISD Head Start

BCFS Education Services is proud to announce a new partnership between Comfort Independent School District and our Head Start program. Beginning in August 2015, we will hold full day Head Start classes on the Comfort Elementary School campus, and will follow the school’s calendar. There will be 40 Head Start spots open in Comfort, available to families that live in the Comfort school district.
Families will need to visit Comfort Elementary School to register their students for Head Start. Below is information about upcoming “Registration Round-Ups.” If you are unable to attend these registration events, you may also apply at Comfort Elementary School during school hours.
Comfort ISD Registration Round-Up Events:
May 17, 2015 1pm – 3pm
June 7, 2015 1pm – 3pm
Comfort Elementary School
605 3rd Street, Comfort, Texas 78013
(830) 995-6410
Four-year-old students will be given priority for registration, however we still encourage families with younger children to apply, as the remaining spaces will be filled by eligible 3-year-olds.
BCFS Education Services is very excited about this partnership and confident this will be a great benefit to our Comfort students. Children will attend Head Start classes in the same building that will eventually be their kindergarten classrooms, making them more comfortable with their environment and ready to learn!
Questions? Please contact our office at (830) 331-8908.