The two-year grant from The Rees-Jones Foundation will allow Buckner to renovate offices and training space inside University Baptist Church in Fort Worth and fund local foster care and adoption case workers and staff to better serve Fort Worth, Tarrant County and surrounding areas.
The grant gives Buckner the opportunity to meet the significant need for kinship homes and therapeutic services to children in North Texas.
“Buckner facilitated 38 adoptions and impacted more than 200 lives through foster care placements in the Dallas area in 2018 and 2019 combined," said Andi Harrison, the Buckner regional director of foster care and adoption in North Texas. “The generosity of The Rees-Jones Foundation and University Baptist Church allows Buckner to increase these numbers by providing necessary services to Fort Worth and the surrounding Tarrant County community in an even larger capacity.”
Established in 2006, The Rees-Jones Foundation provides funding to organizations in North Texas and around the world that serve vulnerable children and work to end the cycle of abuse and neglect, among many other areas of giving. Buckner has been a recipient of funding from The Rees-Jones Foundation since 2015, helping Buckner serve vulnerable children and families world-wide.
“The Rees-Jones Foundation admires and recognizes the often-challenging work Buckner does in securing placements for children and youth who so desperately need a higher level of care than typically available to them,” said Thornton Hardie, president of The Rees-Jones Foundation. “We applaud Buckner’s expansion into serving the children of Tarrant County and the surrounding areas.”
In Tarrant County, Buckner will work directly with Our Community Our Kids. In March 2020, OCOK contracted with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to expand Community-Based Care in the region, assuming case management responsibilities from Child Protective Services.
“We are seeing that more and more of our kids need specific therapeutic support – more than they have in the past,” said Kris Naylor, MFT, chief operating officer for OCOK. “It is exciting that Buckner has expanded their physical presence into Tarrant County with a particular focus on therapeutic services for the kids who need it the most.”
OCOK’s expanded responsibilities in Tarrant County and six additional Texas counties include establishing permanency goals and coordinating care for the families of the children in DFPS conservatorship. Buckner foster care case workers will collaborate with OCOK to achieve these goals.