St. Jude's Ranch for Children

Child Specialist Lindsay Mayfield talks with a resident at St. Jude’s Ranch for Children on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016.

An organization that helps traumatized children is restructuring to focus on local needs and local support.

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, a national nonprofit group, is separating its operations in Nevada and Texas. At a May meeting, the organization’s board of trustees — comprising representatives from Nevada and Texas — voted to operate independently in the two states. The Texas arm of the organization will now be known as SJRC Texas.

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children has three locations in Nevada. SJRC Texas has campuses in San Antonio, Bulverde and New Braunfels. The location in San Antonio is the base for SJRC’s community foster care program, which licenses and trains families to care for foster children, whether in the short term or for life. At the Bulverde campus, SJRC Texas’s therapeutic residential foster care program teaches children life skills, social skills and provides academic support. SJRC Texas’ 17-acre campus in New Braunfels provides education in life skills and positive parenting skills for at-risk mothers ages 10-17. Residents were placed there by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, usually because of some form of abuse or neglect.

“The restructure allows us more access to local support,” explained Tara Roussett, chief executive officer of SJRC Texas. “Most of our funders have expressed interest in supporting local efforts and local organizations. We are excited for the new opportunities that this split will allow us because we have reduced our overhead expenses to less than 12 percent by bringing all business operations in house instead of out of national.”

According to a press release from SJRC Texas, the amicable separation between St. Jude’s Ranch for Children in Nevada and SJRC Texas followed extensive research showing that the two branches of the organization would be able to more effectively serve children as separate entities. All of the children being served will continue to receive the care they need.

Roussett said the shift in focus will benefit SJRC Texas.

“This change will positively impact our operations because all dollars raised here, stay here,” she said. 

As part of St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, SJRC Texas cares for more than 200 children each year and receives only 70 percent of its operating costs from the state of Texas.

“The remaining 30 percent must come from private donors, foundations and other community support,” Roussett said. “The restructure allows us to concentrate on local relationships and build out even more support.”

Roussett said there is a need in the community for resources to help families dealing with trauma, and with experienced local leadership, SJRC will be able to expand its services. 

“We have a committed staff and board that all believe this change is nothing but positive, but we can’t do it alone,” Roussett said. 

SJRC Texas will hold a “Friendraiser Luncheon” from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 24, at the McKenna Event Center, 801 W. San Antonio St. The community is invited to RSVP and attend to find out more about SJRC Texas and its mission. To RSVP, visit http://bit.ly/2bjpO5n . For more information on the organization and its services, visit www.sjrctexas.org.

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