Celeste Garcia Named Executive Director – Community Services Division

Photo: Celeste Garcia

BCFS Health and Human Services has named Celeste Garcia as Executive Director of its Community Services Division. In this role, Garcia will oversee BCFS’ community-based operations, which offer services in every Texas county ranging from case management and counseling, to life skills trainings, parenting classes, college and vocational tuition vouchers for youth in foster care, shelter for young adults struggling with homelessness, and more. Garcia will assume this role on November 1.

Garcia currently serves as Associate Executive Director of BCFS’ Residential Services Division where she oversees foster care, adoption, post release and home study programs, with annual budgets totaling $16.5 million. Garcia also serves as a key liaison between BCFS and its government partners at the federal, state and local level, ensuring compliance, quality assurance, and positive program outcomes for the children, youth and families served.

Under Garcia’s leadership, BCFS’ regional offices across the country continually receive high rankings from federal partners and third party advocacy groups that laud the organization for consistently delivering critical services for children and families in need with exceptional speed, scalability, and quality.

“Celeste is a dynamic leader who invigorates her team and delivers top notch programming,” said Asennet Segura, BCFS Chief Operating Officer. “I know she will not only strengthen our current programs, but also be key in leveraging BCFS locations in other states across the nation to expand our agency’s reach to more children and families in need.”

When she served as National Program Director of BCFS’ Post Release and Home Study Services, Garcia spearheaded the opening of regional offices strategically located around the nation to serve children and families reunited after a separation that sometimes spanned years. Garcia has worked closely with the U.S. departments of Justice, Homeland Security and key international diplomats to ensure BCFS’ operations filled gaps for unmet needs, and exceeded contract requirements.

“Throughout her tenure at BCFS, Celeste has maintained a laser focus on a singular, critical mission: ensuring the best quality placements and environments for children and youth in our care,” said Kevin Dinnin, BCFS President.

Garcia has 14 years of experience advocating for children and families. She earned her Masters of Science in Social Administration at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

BCFS Health and Human Services’ Community Services Division operates centers across Texas that serve youth from the foster care system, teens struggling with homelessness, poverty or a history of abuse, youth in the juvenile justice system, and families. At BCFS centers, youth receive case management, counseling, and assistance with education, employment and housing. Parent support groups and parenting education programs educate families on how to improve communication, resolve conflict, and create a stable, safe home environment for their families.

BCFS Names Victoria Perez Director of Community Based Services – Corpus Christi

BCFS Health and Human Services has named Victoria Perez as Director of Community Based Services – Corpus Christi. In this role, Perez will oversee all programs administered through the organization’s Corpus Christi Transition Center, which provides resources and services for youth in and aging out of foster care and others who need assistance transitioning into “life on their own,” as well as families.
Perez joins BCFS with more than 20 years of managerial experience in the health and human services field. Throughout her career, Perez has served in several roles, overseeing and delivering important services to those in need, while also meeting and exceeding rigorous regulatory and professional standards.
Perez has been recognized by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for her contributions in the care of offenders with medical or mental impairments, and by Texas Christian University for her work in HIV research. She holds a master’s degree in Counseling and Guidance from Texas A&M Corpus Christi, and is working toward a doctorate degree in Educational Psychology.
“Victoria is a compassionate and dedicated leader who knows what ‘right’ looks like,” said Ben Delgado, BCFS Executive Vice President – Community and International Operations. “Her energy and expertise are going to be key assets as we look to not only strengthen, but expand our services and partnerships in Corpus Christi.”
BCFS’ Corpus Christi Transition Center provides resources and services to youth between the ages of 14-26, with the aim of growing their skills and knowledge, strengthening self-confidence, creating healthy community relationships and learning positive self-guidance. Most of the youth served by the center have spent time in the foster care or juvenile justice system, or have battled issues like homelessness, substance abuse or truancy.
The center also offers parent education programs that show families how to resolve conflict and improve communication; improve children’s behavioral problems; as well as deal with complicated issues like strong emotions, aggression, alcohol and violence. Parents who participate in the program may receive other valuable services including free childcare, transportation assistance, and help receiving essentials like food, baby items and clothing.

BCFS Names Wolpers to Lead New Parenting and Child Abuse Prevention Programs

BCFS has named Jeff Wolpers as Director of Community Based Services over its family-centric parenting education programs in Harlingen, called Healthy Outcomes Through Prevention & Early Support (HOPES) and Fatherhood EFFECT. In his new role, Wolpers will oversee the administration of these programs aimed at reducing child abuse and building strong families in the Harlingen community.

HARLINGEN – BCFS Health and Human Services has named Jeff Wolpers as Director of Community Based Services over its family-centric parenting education programs in Harlingen, called Healthy Outcomes Through Prevention & Early Support (HOPES) and Fatherhood EFFECT (Educating Fathers for Empowering Children Tomorrow). In his new role, Wolpers will oversee the administration of these programs aimed at reducing child abuse and building strong families in the Harlingen community.
“HOPES and Fatherhood EFFECT provide families with education and parenting techniques that can turn a chaotic household into a loving and peaceful one – all while helping meet the families’ most basic needs, like food and clothing, to alleviate some of the environmental stressors that can lead to child abuse or neglect,” said Ben Delgado, BCFS Executive Vice President – Community and International Operations. “Jeff’s experience in community-building and one-on-one work with families will be invaluable in the programs’ outreach.”
HOPES is a community-based child abuse and neglect prevention program for families with children younger than 5 years old. It provides parenting education, case management, crisis intervention, counseling and parent support groups.
The Fatherhood EFFECT  program is a parenting education course for households where a father figure is the primary caregiver for a child or children under 17 years old. The curriculum teaches families how to resolve conflict, improve communication, and overcome issues of aggression, alcohol and violence.
Both programs are offered in English and Spanish, and help participating families meet their basic needs like food, diapers, clothing, transportation and even childcare assistance. HOPES and Fatherhood EFFECT are funded by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
Before joining BCFS, Wolpers served as a supervisor for the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. He has more than 20 years of experience in the operation and management of human service programs, including client advocacy, counseling and case management.
To request family support services or learn more about HOPES and Fatherhood EFFECT, call (956) 230-3849.