Saint Francis Community Services (SFCS) announced today that Associated Youth Services (AYS) is merging with SFCS in a move designed to expand and enhance services to at-risk children and youth within Kansas City and the rest of the state. A nonprofit provider to youth in crisis situations since 1972, AYS will continue to operate its programs and services within the Kansas City metro area under the name “Associated Youth Services.”
“This is an exciting moment for both Saint Francis and AYS,” said The Very Rev. Robert Nelson Smith, SFCS president, CEO, and dean. “For decades, AYS has provided exceptional care to at-risk youth through a variety of programs. By combining our resources, we can provide much needed, healing services to more youth in more areas of Kansas.”
Currently headquartered in Kansas City, AYS also has an office in Garden City, providing programs that include foster care, Juvenile Justice Foster Care (JJFC), Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT), community mental health education and treatment, and Home Ties, a residential center for adolescent boys in Kansas City.
Those programs will operate in conjunction with Saint Francis’ own array of programs and services that include foster care and reintegration, residential treatment, family preservation, adoption, substance abuse counseling, and community outreach. For 70 years, Saint Francis Community Services has been an innovative leader in serving at-risk children and youth. From its origins as Saint Francis Boys’ Home in Ellsworth, Kansas, SFCS has grown into a multi-state Episcopal ministry, providing programs and services to 10,000 children, youth, and families in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Mississippi.
“This consolidation promises all kinds of new opportunities for collaboration and innovation as we seek to develop programs and increase services to children in need,” said Dennis Vanderpool, AYS CEO. “And while our staff and stakeholders will, of course, see benefits in the merger, the most important beneficiaries will be the children, youth, and families we serve.”