BCFS Celebrates “National Foster Care Month”

BCFS Health and Human Services’ Lifts Up Youth in Foster Care

May is “National Foster Care Month”

According to the Center for Public Policy Priorities and Kids Count Data Center, in 2014 there were more than 30,000 children in Texas’ foster care system. The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work’s Child and Family Research Institute has shown that foster youth, statistically, have poor educational outcomes, are less likely to finish high school, go to college or hold stable employment.
As the nation marks May as “National Foster Care Month,” BCFS Health and Human Services works daily to help young adults and youth in foster care grow toward independent adulthood and self-sufficiency.
At BCFS’ transition centers throughout Texas, local youth in and aging out of foster care and those at risk of homelessness, poverty or other challenges have ”one-stop” access to case management, counseling, mentoring, educational opportunities, employment connections, housing location and legal service – all free of charge.
Formal programs focus on equipping young adults with “real life” knowledge and skills, such as interviewing for a job, balancing a checkbook, healthy decision making, choosing a career path, teen pregnancy prevention and the consequences of being sexually active. The organization focuses on offering a support system to youth in foster care that helps them grow into healthy, productive adults.
“These young people are in our community, and some have endured serious tragedies and challenges through no fault of their own,” say center directors. “Our mission is to help youth learn responsibility, seek and find opportunities and, ultimately, create a healthy, loving environment for themselves, their families and our larger community.
“What we offer at the center teaches them that everyone is important, and everyone can make a positive difference.”
BCFS also offers foster care services that connect youth with safe and loving foster homes. Adults who would like information about becoming a foster parent can call (210) 208-5629 or visit DiscoverBCFS.net/FosterCare.
For more information about the BCFS’ transition centers, their programs or how to help, visit DiscoverBCFS.net.

Construction Underway for BCFS’ Texas Hill Country Resource Center

If you’re stopping by the 1100 block of Main Street anytime soon make sure you have on your hard hat. Construction is moving full speed ahead on Kerrville’s new center, known as the “BCFS Health and Human Services Texas Hill Country Resource Center.”

If you’re stopping by the 1100 block of Main Street anytime soon make sure you have on your hard hat. Construction is moving full speed ahead on Kerrville’s new center, known as the “BCFS Health and Human Services Texas Hill Country Resource Center.”
The building, which will open its doors in 2015, will serve more than 4,000 children and families annually and house several different non-profits. The nearly 20,000 square foot center will be the centerpiece of the non-profit block, constructed by Kerrville-based JM Lowe & Company.
“It’s exciting to see the center begin to take shape,” said Ben Delgado, BCFS Executive Vice President – International and Community Operations, who is overseeing the project. “The ripple effect this facility will have once completed is profound, lifting up not only youth and families in need but the larger Hill Country community as well.”
BCFS’ new Texas Hill Country Resource Center will serve youth in foster care and the juvenile justice system; families that are struggling; and those facing other challenges, like homelessness, substance abuse and unemployment. The shared space model emphasizes accountability in the youth it serves, ensures non-duplication of existing services, and promotes efficiency through the leveraging of shared talents and resources. In the new center, teens, young adults and families will be able to receive counseling, case management, access to medical care, emergency housing assistance, life skills training, literacy training, educational support, and connections to employment and educational opportunities all under one roof.
The “one stop” service model that was first established by BCFS Health and Human Services in Kerrville in 2007 no longer exists due to program and partner growth, as well as a significant increase in demand for services. To reestablish the efficient and effective “one stop” model, The Cailloux Foundation set forth a $500,000 challenge grant to build a larger center. Several private foundations and individual philanthropists throughout the Hill Country contributed to the capital campaign, including BCFS – the parent company of BCFS Health and Human Services – which committed $1.3 million. The Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation also contributed $300,000 to complete the center, in addition to major gifts given by the Ruby and Perry Stevens Foundation and Hal and Charlie Peterson Foundation.
For more information about BCFS’ resource center services, visit DiscoverBCFS.net/Kerrville or call (830) 896-0993.
To support the work of the resource center by donating, contact Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie at (830) 928-9387, give securely online, or send checks to: 550 Earl Garrett, Suite 114, Kerrville, Texas 78028.

BCFS Invests $1.3 Million in New Transition Center in Kerrville

Transition center will serve at-risk youth in efforts to break cycles of poverty and foster self-sufficiency

BCFS, a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations, has committed up to $1.3 million to complete the capital campaign for a new youth transition center in Kerrville. The building, which is set to open in early 2015, will serve more than 4,000 children and families annually, house five non-profits, and be known as the BCFS Health and Human Services Hill Country Transition Center.
BCFS President and CEO Kevin C. Dinnin announced the funds would be made available immediately for the construction of the new center. A ceremonial groundbreaking will take place in April.
“BCFS is proud to join many private foundations, businesses and individual philanthropists in supporting the establishment of this facility,” says BCFS CEO Kevin Dinnin. “Without question, this BCFS transition center will make a profound impact in the lives of children and young adults who are struggling. This will, in turn, raise the tide for the community as a whole, making Kerrville and surrounding areas a safe and prosperous place to call home.”
BCFS Health and Human Services, a subsidiary of BCFS,  established Kerrville’s youth transition center in 2007 as a “one stop shop” where youth in foster care or those who face the potential of homelessness could receive counseling, case management, access to medical care, emergency housing assistance, life skills training, literacy training, educational support, and connections to employment and educational opportunities. Through the years, demand for services at the center exploded beyond original projections, causing programs to have to relocate throughout the city; thereby negating the ease of “one stop” services.
Building a new transition center was fueled by a $500,000 challenge grant from the Cailloux Foundation.  The new center will be built by JM Lowe & Company on a site provided by the Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country, and will also house Partners in Ministry-Vision Youth, Families & Literacy, Inc. and Art 2 Heart. Together, BCFS Health and Human Services and its partners will serve more than 4,000 youth, young adults and families annually.
“Supporting the Hill Country Transition Center has at least five-times the impact thanks to all the partners that will use this location to serve those in need,” said Terri Hipps, BCFS Health and Human Services’ Executive Director – Community Services Division. “By leveraging and maximizing our shared talents and resources, our new center will be able to serve more deserving youth and families through even more effective means.”

Hal and Charlie Peterson Foundation Invest in Youth Transition Center

The Hal and Charlie Peterson Foundation Invests $125,000 in Building Kerrville’s New Youth Transition Center

The Hal and Charlie Peterson Foundation has awarded BCFS Health and Human Services (BCFS HHS) $125,000 toward the construction of a new Kerrville Transition Center that serves youth in foster care and those facing other struggles, such as homelessness, substance abuse, poverty, unplanned pregnancies and more. The project has received significant support from many community leaders, organizations and philanthropists passionate about filling an unmet need for youth of the Hill Country.

“Since we opened Kerrville’s original transition center six years ago, demand for services has exploded,” said Terri Hipps, BCFS HHS Executive Director of the Community Services Division. “We are grateful to the Peterson Foundation and all those who have and will invest in the expansion of transitional care services, so we may continue to provide comprehensive, coordinated, and, importantly, non-duplicated care to youth making the transition into independence and adulthood.”

Transition centers bring together under one roof services such as counseling, case management, access to medical care, emergency housing assistance, life skills training, literacy training, educational support, and connections to employment and educational opportunities. The new transition center will continue to be operated by BCFS HHS, while also housing four other non-profits: Art 2 Heart; Families & Literacy; and Partners In Ministry-Vision Youth. In addition, it will provide space on an as-needed basis for other community partners to directly offer services to youth.

The capital campaign was fueled by a $500,000 challenge grant from The Cailloux Foundation to build a new “one stop” transition center on the non-profit block managed by the Community Foundation. The new 16,000 square foot Kerrville Transition Center will provide a robust place where compassion and help will be available to serve more than 4,000 individuals in need each year. Christian Women’s Job Corps and Big Brothers Big Sisters will remain on the campus and offer coordinated services as well.

“We support the Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country and BCFS HHS in this capital project and urge others to support it as well,” said Sandy Cailloux Executive Director of the Cailloux Foundation. “Helping at-risk youth and young adults become more responsible and self-sufficient gives them a much better start in life and strengthens our entire community.”

All gifts to the new Kerrville Transition Center are tax deductible. Checks may be made out to BCFS and mailed to 550 Earl Garret Suite 114 in Kerrville or at www.DiscoverBCFS.net/StepUp

Dimas Named BCFS Health and Human Services’ Associate Executive Director

BCFS names Kenia Dimas associate executive director for the agency’s South Texas community-based operations. As associate executive director, she will be responsible for overseeing the growth and success of community-based programs that touch the lives of thousands.

BCFS Health and Human Services (BCFS HHS), a global non-profit organization headquartered in Texas with locations from coast-to-coast and on four continents, has named Kenia Dimas, of Corpus Christi, as associate executive director for the agency’s South Texas community-based operations.

“During a time when many organizations and business have struggled, BCFS HHS continues to grow thanks to strategic development and a strong commitment to always deliver what we promise,” said Terri Hipps, BCFS HHS Executive Director of the Community Services Division.

“Kenia has a track record of meeting challenging and sometimes unchartered programmatic and financial goals, while never wavering to put what is right for the youth we serve first. This commitment to getting the job done – and done right – is why I know that she will be a great asset for BCFS HHS as we continue to build our reach across the state.”

Dimas has been with BCFS HHS since 2008 and has more than 11 years of experience working with at-risk children and youth. As associate executive director, she will be responsible for overseeing the growth and success of community-based programs that touch the lives of thousands.

BCFS Announces Leadership Changes and New “Community Services Division”

BCFS Health and Human Services’ new “Community Services Division” will lead programs that serve thousands of children, families and communities each year. Terri Hipps will serve as executive director, focusing on on developing best practice service models, and expanding programs and community support.

Effective April 1, BCFS Health and Human Services (BCFS HHS) will join together the Teen & Youth Services and Community-based Services Divisions to create one unified “Community Services Division.”

The new division will lead programs that serve thousands of children, families and communities each year. Terri Hipps, who has been with BCFS HHS for 10 years, will serve as executive director. In this role, she will focus on developing best practice service models, and expanding programs and community support. Under Hipps’ leadership, three associate executive directors will assist with the management of operations throughout the far-reaching division.

Cindi Garcia, who has been with BCFS HHS for 14 years, will make the transition from executive director to vice president of program operations support for BCFS Community and International Operations. In this role, she will lead the agency’s investments in quality assurance, professional development, systems improvement, research, and other special projects.

“Smart and strategic growth management has ensured the BCFS system has had fortitude needed to sustain and expand our work times of prosperity as well as times of challenge,” said Ben Delgado, BCFS Executive Vice President of Community and International Operations. “This new structure will support increased standardization of business processes and shared best practices.”

“Terri and Cindi’s longtime leadership as executive directors has played a key part in making BCFS HHS what it is today,” he continued. “In their new roles, I know they will continue to be strong forces in the development of who we will be in the future.”

BCFS Health & Human Services celebrates the opening of Our House

BCFS Health and Human Services today celebrated the opening of its new “Our House” program. BCFS’ Our House is a transitional living home for homeless males between the ages of 18-23, located at 202 Vine Street. The vision for Our House was sparked years ago by the Christian Community Development Coalition (CCDC)….

ABILENE – BCFS Health and Human Services today celebrated the opening of its new “Our House” program. BCFS’ Our House is a transitional living home for homeless males between the ages of 18-23, located at 202 Vine Street.

The vision for Our House was sparked years ago by the Christian Community Development Coalition (CCDC), whose board members included passionate community members like Randy Perkins and Nancy Capra. At CCDC’s request, BCFS took on the project of bringing Our House from a dream to reality.

“It’s hard to chase your dreams when you’re worried about where you’re going to sleep at night or get your next meal,” said Terri Hipps, BCFS Executive Director of Teen and Youth Services.

“Homelessness impacts much more than the individual, it has a compounding effect on the health and prosperity of the whole community,” she continued. “BCFS is proud to have had the strong support of community leaders like Mayor Norm Archibald and the City of Abilene, as well as partner agencies, as we worked to build and open Our House and begin answering this vital need.”

Thanks to funding from numerous private foundations, individual donors, and a community development block grant through the City of Abilene, BCFS’ Our House represents a nearly $345,000 investment in serving struggling Abilene youth. Prior to opening, BCFS ensured that it secured enough revenue to cover Our House’s operating expenses for at least the first year. This tactic was a powerful statement of BCFS’ commitment to be a sustainable, long-term resource for youth and the community.

Youth may stay at Our House for as long as needed, which may range from a few months to a year. The key strength of the project will be its connection with BCFS’ Abilene Transition Center, which opened in 2011 and provides counseling, case management, and education, housing assistance and employment connections to more than 400 youth each year.

Those assisted by the transition center include former foster youth, youth in the juvenile justice system, high school drop outs and homeless young adults. According to the Abilene Independent School District, an estimated 743 students in were homeless at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year. Foster youth are especially vulnerable to homelessness. Within 18 months of aging out of the state foster care system, 50 percent of youth struggle to put a roof over their heads. BCFS’ transition center and Our House project address these issues head-on, providing an easily-accessible and comprehensive network that makes getting help simple for youth.

“We are thankful to the community leaders, the City of Abilene, and our sister agencies, Hendrick Medical Center  and Hardin-Simmons University, for their partnership and support,” said BCFS President and CEO Kevin C. Dinnin.

For more information about BCFS’ work with teen and youth around the world, please visit www.DiscoverBCFS.net.