What is the agency’s relationship to the Archdiocese?
St. PJ’s is governed by an independent Board of Governors. There is a representative from the Archdiocese that sits on the board as an ex-officio member. Other standing representatives include an alumnus from St. PJ’s and a Sister from the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. The Board of Directors reports up to a Board of Trustees, which includes the Archbishop of San Antonio.
Does the Archdiocese support St. PJ’s financially?
As one of the social services agencies under the Archdiocese’s umbrella, we receive a portion of the funds raised from the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal. The Appeal is the major fundraising effort conducted each year throughout the Archdiocese. We receive approximately 3% of our revenue from the Archdiocese.
Are all of the children eligible for adoption?
No. The children are in different stages of their plan. In some cases, the family is working on their action plan. If parental rights are terminated, then the children become eligible for adoption.
Where do the children go to school?
The children go to school off campus—mostly at local public schools. Those children that wish to attend Catholic school and qualify go to local Catholic schools.
Does the Archdiocese pay for children to attend Catholic school?
We do receive some funding for those children that attend Catholic school; St. PJ’s pays for the remainder of the cost.
Do parents visit their children?
Parental visits can be part of the family action plan. It varies from case to case. In some cases, parents do not know the whereabouts of their children. This is one of the reasons that maintaining confidentiality is so important.
How long do the children stay at St. PJ’s?
Children can stay up to 90 days in the emergency shelter. The average length of stay in long-term residential care is 14 months. Sometimes parental rights are terminated and the children stay at St. PJ’s waiting for placement. With some of the larger sibling groups, this can take a longer period of time. Sometimes, especially with older children, they opt not to be adopted, at which time they become in the permanent conservatorship of CPS, remain at St. PJ’s, and we finish raising them.
Can the children stay at St. PJ’s after they “age out”?
Extended foster care is a program for young adults in TDFPS conservatorship who are eligible and willing to continue foster care services beyond their 18th birthday. Young adults, ages 18-22, are eligible so long as sufficient documentation is provided on a periodic basis as required by the terms of the Child’s Extended Foster Care Agreement to demonstrate that the young adult is:
Regularly attending high school or enrolled in a program leading toward a high school diploma or GED up to the young adult’s 22nd birthday;
Regularly attending an institution of higher education or a post-secondary vocational or technical program up to the young adult’s 21st birthday (these young adults may remain in care to complete vocational-technical training classes regardless of whether or not the he/she has received a high school diploma or GED certificate);
Actively participating a program or activity that promotes or removes barriers to employment up the young adult’s 21st birthday; Employed for at least 80 hours per month up the young adult’s 21st birthday; or Incapable of doing any of the above due to a documented medical condition up the young adult’s 21st birthday.
Young adults who meet eligibility criteria and voluntarily agree to participate in the Extended Foster Care Program may be served at St. PJ’s.
Voluntary Return to Foster Care
Voluntary Return to Foster Care is a program designed for young adults ages 18-22 who are eligible and willing to resume foster care services. Eligible participants must have been in TDFPS Conservatorship at the time they turned 18 years old (or were on runaway status at the time they turned 18 years old and their conservatorship case had not been dismissed), and want to return to foster care, and:
Attend high school or a program leading toward a high school diploma and have not reached their 22nd birthday;
Are enrolled in, or will be enrolled within 30 days of placement in, a course of instruction to prepare for the GED and have not reached their 21st birthday;
Attend and, within two years, complete a certified vocational or technical program and have not reached their 21st birthday; or
Return on a break from college or a technical or vocational program for at least one month, but no more than four months and have not reached their 21st birthday.
Young adults 18-22 years old who meet eligibility criteria and voluntarily agree to participate in the Return to Foster Care Program, may be served at St. PJ’s
Is St. PJ’s an orphanage?
No. These children have parents. It is the goal of CPS to reunite them with their parents. It is when parental rights are terminated or relinquished that the children become eligible for adoption.
What other services do we have?
In addition to providing emergency care services and residential services for children removed from their home due to abuse and/or neglect, St. PJ’s also provides emergency care services and transitional foster care for minors from Central America and Mexico, as well as having a counseling center and community outreach programs.
Are we paid to care for the children?
The State (TDFPS) pays a per diem rate for each child that we care for. This rate varies depending on the level of care – between $42 and $115. These payments compare to the average cost per day of $133.