St. Jude’s Ranch for Children as first private foster care contractor for 27 counties

State of Texas announces expansion of Community-Based Care into South Texas

SAN ANTONIO, Texas  – The State of Texas announced an expansion of Community-Based Care (CBC) into South Texas. St. Jude’s Ranch for Children was recognized as the first private foster care contractor for 27 counties surrounding Bexar County, which is already part of CBC.

Counties included are: Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Calhoun, Comal, DeWitt, Dimmitt, Edwards, Frio, Gillespie, Goliad, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Jackson, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Kinney, La Salle, Lavaca, Maverick, Medina, Real, Uvalde, Val Verde, Victoria, Wilson and Zavala.

“The expansion of Community-Based Care in South Texas is an important step in ensuring our child welfare system continues to serve Texas children with the care and compassion that they deserve,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “We will continue to support CBC and prioritize the needs of young Texans in our child welfare system.”

As the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) works towards CBC implementation in all 254 counties, St. Jude’s becomes the fifth CBC contractor in Texas, with 5 more contracts in the planning stages.

“This is a big step for South Texas as we expand CBC statewide,” said DFPS Commissioner Jaime Masters. “Each child in foster care belongs to a community, a town or a city. It follows, then, that the housing, care and any necessary treatment of these vulnerable children and young people should come from those communities, with state oversight.”

Normally, when a judge orders a child to be placed in foster care, Child Protective Services (CPS) is responsible for finding a foster home or other living arrangement for that child and ensure there is enough space for other foster children.

As far as the CBC model goes, St. Jude’s will be responsible in the 27-county area for finding foster homes and other suitable living arrangements for foster children and youth.

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, SJRC Texas, should begin placing children in six months after a start up/transition period in coordination with CPS.

“We are excited and ready to implement BELONG, a division of SJRC Texas, where we will continue to leverage our organizational history and successes including our relationship within the community, operational expertise, and growth mindset,” said Tara Roussett, the CEO of SJRC Texas. “We have a plan for children to stay geographically close to their home communities and where they will be supported by an excellent network of local services overseen by providers that are held accountable or positive outcomes.”

SJRC Texas is currently operating a residential operation, child placing agency and prevention programs and has been a foster care provider in Texas for almost 40 years. They hold offices in San Antonio, Bulverde and New Braunfels.