AUSTIN, Texas — Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services’ (PCHAS) Board of Trustees voted unanimously on April 8, 2017 to make the following changes:
The historic children’s agency will consolidate its Group Home Program onto its Itasca campus, increasing the number of Itasca group homes from four to six. One of the group homes will be reserved for a large sibling group.
A second change is that several residences on its Waxahachie campus will be repurposed into three bedroom duplexes in order to serve a greater number of single parents and their children. The expansion of its Single Parent Family program means PCHAS will offer its single parent family services in Waxahachie, San Antonio and Houston. In addition to providing services for struggling single mothers and their children on its Waxahachie campus, PCHAS will also continue offering its Transitional Living Program for youth who have aged out of Group Home Care and Foster Care. Both of these services are also offered at its San Antonio campus.
Some of the children living on the Waxahachie campus not moving to Itasca will, over the summer, be reunited with their parents, a natural progression of PCHAS’ services to this age group. Others will graduate from high school and attend college, trade school or begin their first job. PCHAS will make sure that any other children remaining will receive the services they need. One option available to those who graduate from its Group Home program but need some additional support, is to enroll in its Transitional Living Program. Older youth may stay in this program until they are 22 years old.
These program adjustments are the result, in part, of a recent court ruling by a federal judge requiring Child Protective Services to greatly reduce its use of group homes and the resulting reduction is anticipated to increase each year. PCHAS is also mindful of the Texas legislature’s preference of placing children in foster care and kinship care homes rather than group homes. “However, PCHAS’ Board of Trustees and I remain committed to offering group home care to young people who cannot live in their own home, nor able to be served by traditional foster care. The day may come when the only youth we will be able to accept into our group home care will be those who are placed with us privately by a parent or guardian. But, when that day comes, we are committed to doing just that,” stated President Ed Knight.
Since its founding in 1903, Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services continues to nimbly respond to changes in the world while it maintains fidelity to its mission of providing Christ-centered care and support to children and families in need.