BCFS Health and Human Services
|Founded||San Antonio, U.S.|
|Services||Foster care, adoption, emergency shelter, and major federal contractor for migrant youth shelter|
BCFS Health and Human Services (formerly Baptist Child and Family Services) is a U.S. 501(c)(3) organization based in San Antonio, Texas, specializing in emergency shelter, foster care, and adoption. It was founded as an orphanage in 1944. By 2014, BCFS ran two large temporary detention centers and six permanent shelters for unaccompanied migrant minors. In 2015, BCFS received more funding than any other Office of Refugee Resettlement contractor and nearly a quarter of total funding designated for the unaccompanied minor's program.
San Antonio Youth Centers
In 2000, BCFS was a partner with Texas Youth Commission and Bexar County Juvenile Probation in establishing the first transition center in Texas for youth aging out of foster care with a grant from United States Department of Labor. Former Major League Baseball pitcher Jimmy Morris was hired as a motivational speaker in 2015, saying "It's my job to tell the kids what they're capable of... It's not about me. It's about what God can do through me."
BCFS has operated Guadalupe Street Coffee and Westside Community Center in San Antonio as a service to area youth and their families in partnership with city agencies, non-profits, and faith-based organizations.
BCFS coordinated shelter for the 462 children displaced from YFZ Ranch in 2008. Affiliate Baptist Children’s Home Youth Ranch was adapted to support keeping large amounts of siblings together.
Minor Detention Centers
In 2017, a 10 year-old girl with cerebral palsy was arrested after traveling in an ambulance unaccompanied for a gall bladder operation. Representative Joaquin Castro attempted to visit her at BCFS shelter and was refused access while her deportation status was being determined. District judge Fred Biery suggested that her mother should have been detained as well. The child was released without deportation following objections from the ACLU.
BCFS operated Tornillo tent city, the largest detention camp for minors at the time, from June 2018–January 2019. In December 2018 it is estimated that the camp held more than 2,800 minors, mostly from Central America, and employed 2,000 people. CEO Kevin Dinnin claimed that the organization was pressured to expand their operations by the federal government. Dinnin notified the Department of Health and Human Services on December 17 that the organization would not accept additional detainees. It was announced the following day that controversial fingerprinting requirements would be rolled back to expedite sponsorships. Conditions of the camp were not subject to scrutiny by state agencies and standard FBI fingerprint background checks for employees were waived, raising alarm about the safety of detained minors.
In 2019, employees at Wayfair staged a walk out in protest of a contract with BCFS for a minor detention facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, a former Stratton Oilfield Systems "man camp" that has estimated capacity for 1,000 detainees.
- ^ Altman, Alex; Dias, Elizabeth (August 4, 2014). "This Baptist Charity Is Being Paid Hundreds of Millions to Shelter Child Migrants". Time. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
- ^ Timmons, Patrick (December 18, 2018). "Audit: Migrant kids shelter operator violated health, safety rules". United Press International. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- ^ "State and local leaders join for grand opening of transition center". La Prensa. June 13, 2010.
- ^ Thomas, Mike W. (April 3, 2015). "'The Rookie' star partners with BCFS to inspire troubled youth". San Antonio Business Journal. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
- ^ Bailey, W. Scott (May 5, 2014). "BCFS Health and Human Services set to open new center". San Antonio Business Journal. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
- ^ "Youth ranch accepts 75 children from FLDS compound". Baptist Standard. April 28, 2008. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
- ^ Dart, Tom (November 3, 2017). "Detained 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy released from custody in Texas". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
- ^ "Huge migrant teen detention camp in Texas shutting down". KNOE. Associated Press. January 11, 2019. Archived from the original on July 7, 2019. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
- ^ Green, Emily (January 11, 2019). "Head of controversial tent city says the Trump administration pressured him to detain more young migrants". Vice News. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
- ^ Kelly, Meghan B.; Ruckstuhl, Laney (June 26, 2019). "Wayfair Employees Protest Sale Of Furniture To Migrant Detention Center". NPR. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
- ^ Dwyer, Mimi (June 7, 2019). "The Trump Administration is Converting a Former 'Man Camp' in Texas into a Shelter for Migrant Kids". Vice News. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
- ^ Higgins, Eoin (June 20, 2019). "Trump Prepares to Open New 'Captured Children' Facility in Texas as Hundreds of Rights Groups Call for Decriminalizing Migration". Common Dreams. Retrieved June 28, 2019.