Mental Health Training Surpasses Expectations at iCare Conference

The second annual iCare conference, presented by STCH Ministries with support from the Blanche Davis Moore Foundation, was held on August 9, 2018, in Victoria, Texas. STCH Ministries created the iCare conference to equip “people who help people”. This event brought together more than thirty presenters from ten area organizations, who provided training and resources for dealing with tough topics and mental health issues, including suicide, addiction, divorce, depression, anxiety, and others.

The mental health crisis in our country touches nearly every family. STCH Ministries is working to bring relief through donation-based counseling and recognizes that many other individuals and organizations are making a difference as well.

“iCare was born out of that whole concept to pay back and help support and bolster people that are working with these families,” said Darin Griffiths, Vice President of Family Counseling at STCH Ministries.

Glen Dry, the pastor of Sportsman’s Church in Victoria and the emcee of the event, said, “[People] are realizing, ‘How do we cope, how do we collaborate with one another? How do we put all these resources in one room?’ I think for such a time as this, STCH Ministries is positioned in the best place to do this.”

Dry also commented, “Selfishly, this helps my staff. It helps the people who work for me to care for the people that come into our environments. More tools and better understanding, so that we can do what we do best better.”

One of the draws for the conference is the opportunity for participants to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs). CEUs are required for many professionals to maintain their license. Up to six CEUs were available at iCare for participants who are Licensed Professional Counselors or Licensed Clinical Social Workers.

Plans are already underway for next year’s conference and organizers are looking ahead to reach even more people.

Darin Griffiths stated, “One dream that I have is for this to be reproduced in all four of our regional counseling locations. The same people who were sitting in this room are in San Antonio today, and they are in Corpus Christi, and they are in Houston. I think it is up to us to get there – where they are at, in their environment, with the same information. We’re hoping iCare will develop a brand recognition that shows quality.”

In the midst of a mental health epidemic in America, there is a growing need for support and training among the people on the front lines. Through iCare, STCH Ministries hopes to be part of the solution that our communities are seeking.

When Golf is More Than a Game

Golf can be many things: relaxing, challenging, thrilling, or infuriating. It is a pastime for some, a way of life for others. But at the STCH Ministries Golf Classic, golf takes on a new dimension. No longer is it just a game; it is a “game-changer” for the lives of children and families in need.

Every year, dozens of teams gather for some friendly competition on the golf course while at the same time raising funds to support the work of STCH Ministries. All of the children in care benefit from this event, but the ones most impacted are the young people who attend the event as ambassadors for the children’s home.

“Normally we take six to eight kids,” says Greg Huskey, Boothe Campus Administrator, who notes that aside from the occasional teen who has played on the high school golf team, this sport is a “foreign concept” to most of them.

“They may see it on TV. Rarely does anybody have a golfing background, and that’s primarily because of the background where a lot of our kids come from.”

Huskey says the teens have several responsibilities at the tournament. “It may be to carry the bags. It may be to pass out lunch. It may be helping with registration.”

And these interactions give the young people one of the most important experiences of the day: coming face to face with people who care about, support, and believe in them. Just as the golf course is a new world to the kids, the Golf Classic event shows them a whole new world of people who are committed to their success in life.

“For me it’s great to see them interact with those people,” says Huskey. “They’re genuine people. They care about kids and what we do in this ministry.”

If you haven’t yet signed up for the 2018 STCH Ministries Golf Classic, we invite you to register online today. No matter your score on the golf course, this is one tournament where you are always on the winning team.

Bailey Sets Record 42 Years of Service at Children’s Home

Ginger Bailey set the record for the longest continuously serving staff member at STCH Ministries with a career of 42 years and counting. (Click to enlarge photo.)

PETTUS – In a time when median job tenure for professionals is 5.5 years, 42 years of service at the same organization is extraordinary. Ginger Glynn Bailey began her social work career as a foster care worker/case worker for the South Texas Children’s Home (STCH) right out of graduate school in 1976. July 12th is the anniversary of her employment with STCH Ministries and makes her the longest continuously serving staff member in the organization’s sixty-six years of history.

Equally remarkable is the fact that this distinguished career began as a dream in the heart of an eight-year-old girl while visiting a children’s home in San Antonio. While in high school, Bailey sent letters to children’s homes all around the state looking for summer internship possibilities and STCH responded. The connection eventually became a full-time position in which Bailey would touch the lives of thousands of children.

In 1985, Bailey moved into the role of Director of Social Services and continues to serve faithfully in that capacity today. In a career that bridges more than four decades, Bailey has witnessed many changes, ranging from technology to procedural polices and state standards. Bailey notes that the needs of children and families in crisis remain the same. The situations that bring children to the home may vary, but the emotional and physical requirements for personal healing are constant.

Bailey most enjoys building relationships with families and “being there” for former students needing support. “When a family has a concern about their child, they may be tearful or even angry,” she said. “They need someone to listen and to help them work through the process. I’m glad I can be there for those that are hurting.” Especially heartwarming for Bailey are phone calls from former students sharing good news, or alumni who drop by to show their own children the place they called “home.”

STCH Ministries is honored to count Ginger Bailey as a member of our team. We celebrate her steadfast commitment and exemplary service to children and families.


STCH Ministries is a faith-based, nonprofit organization that has been caring for children and families since 1952. We provide homes, support, counseling, and life-skills training to those in need, and also reach beyond our borders through international missions. We provide all of our services regardless of an individual or family’s ability to pay for them.  We are 100% supported by private donations and do not accept any state or federal funding.

Latcham Earns Play Therapy Credential

This news article originally appeared in the The Karnes Countywide on Wednesday, May  30, 2018.

Lisa Latcham, M.Ed., LPC, NCC, of Beeville, earned the prestigious Registered Play Therapist (RPT) credential conferred by the Association for Play Therapy (APT), according to its CEO Kathryn Lebby.

Latcham is a licensed professional counselor, a national certified counselor, and a certified school counselor.

She is employed by STCH Ministries as a family therapist in Beeville, located at the First Baptist Church, and at Homes for Children on Boothe Campus near Mineral.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Southwestern University in Georgetown, and her master’s degree from the University of Houston-Victoria.

To become a registered play therapist, applicants must have earned a traditional master’s or higher mental health degree from an institution of higher education, 150 clock hours of play therapy training, two years and 2,000 hours of clinical experience, 500 hours of supervised play therapy experience, and be licensed or certified by their state boards of practice.

Play therapy continues to gain popularity as an effective modality by which licensed mental health professionals, school counselors, and school psychologists use play therapy theories and techniques in developmentally appropriate ways to better communicate with and help clients, especially children.

APT is a national professional society formed in 1982 to advance the field of play therapy. It sponsors research, training, and credentialing programs to assist the professional development of its nearly 6,000 member psychologists, social workers, counselors, and marriage and family therapists in more than 25 nations.

To find out if play therapy is right for your child, contact STCH Ministries Family Counseling at 1.833.83.STCHM.

Celebrating the Class of 2018

The high school seniors who live at STCH Ministries will soon graduate from Pettus ISD. As these young people pursue their dreams in the next phase of life, they say they will never forget their time at the children’s home.

As flowers sprout up from the ground and signs of spring are all around, five seniors at STCH Ministries are preparing for a new season in their life. Another year of studying, homework, and semester exams is nearing an end and our seniors will soon walk the stage and receive their high school diplomas from Pettus ISD. These five students have been with us at Boothe Campus from two to four years and each one has created lasting relationships with staff and friends around the campus, while making memories that will last a lifetime.

Isaiah Moreno has lived at Homes for Children for about two years now.

Isaiah Moreno

Isaiah Moreno has lived at Homes for Children for about two years now. He plans to attend Coastal Bend College in Beeville for his basics and later transfer to Texas A&M University-Kingsville to major in psychology. Isaiah has had many memorable moments during his two years, but his best one yet is a very fresh one.

“My favorite memory just happened recently. I was baptized!” exclaims Isaiah.

After a conversation about baptism with a youth leader at his church, he says he realized the importance of this public profession of his acceptance of Jesus as Savior.

Isaiah said he is thankful for many things, most of all for the opportunity to attend college with the cost covered by the STCH Ministries Educational Scholarship Program. This program makes higher education possible for the young adults who graduate while in care at STCH Ministries.

Haley Hummel has lived at STCH Ministries for almost two years.

Haley Hummel

Haley Hummel has lived at STCH Ministries for almost two years. She said she is still weighing her options beyond high school but does see college in her future.

Haley recalled that her best times at the children’s home actually came at a rough time in her life. “One of my favorite memories would have to be working with my goat last year, even though at the time I was definitely not the happiest.” She explained how this activity was therapeutic. “The animals calmed me and made me happy.”

She is thankful to have the opportunity to finish high school and the possibility of college. A word of advice Haley shared is, “If someone tries to lend a helping hand, take it. You can’t do everything on your own.” She then cites 1 John 3:17 which reads, “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?”

Erin DeCola has lived at STCH Ministries just shy of three years.

Erin DeCola

Erin DeCola has lived at STCH Ministries just shy of three years. She plans on going to Coastal Bend College in Beeville for two years and then transferring to Lamar University in Beaumont to major in Special Education.

Erin lights up when remembering her favorite day at the children’s home. “The first summer I was here, we went paintballing in prom dresses for Girl’s Day!”

She is thankful for the countless opportunities that she has been given by living at Boothe Campus.

Erin offers a word of advice to those behind her. “Don’t procrastinate! Before you know it you will be standing in alphabetical order in your cap and gown wondering where time went.”

Joshua Parker has lived at STCH Ministries for over 3 years.

Joshua Parker

Joshua Parker has lived at STCH Ministries for over 3 years.

“My plans for after graduation are to go to college, take my basics, and major in kinesiology,” he says.

Joshua plans to attend a community college and then transfer to a university. When reminiscing about his favorite memories, Josh particularly enjoyed summers at Boothe Campus. He recalled hanging out with friends and staff on campus and attending summer camp at Camp Zephyr.

Joshua also enjoyed the vocational training program on campus, where young people have the opportunity to work alongside staff members and see various aspects of their jobs.

“Mr. Kelsey has been a huge influence in my life. I enjoyed working with him and getting to know him more,” says Joshua. “I am thankful for all the staff at STCH. They are so much fun and really kind.”

Mary Herschberger has lived at STCH Ministries for four years.

Mary Herschberger

Mary Herschberger has lived at STCH Ministries for four years. She is working hard to finish at the top of her class and plans to spend her summer working at Camp Zephyr. In the fall she will attend the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and plans to major in social work.

When asked what she wants to do with her social work degree, Mary replied, “I just know it’s going to be with kids. I know that one of my options would be coming back to STCH for a job.”

Mary says her fondest memories come from raising her animals for the stock show, especially her steer. She is thankful for the opportunity to have met the houseparents and staff at the children’s home. She says they have shown her the type of love that doesn’t have to be earned.

In just a short time, these five graduates will embark into the next phase of their lives. As has been the case with many past students, staff members at STCH Ministries say they eagerly anticipate the visits during holidays, on weekends, and when these young adults just need a listening ear.

“Everyone at STCH Ministries looks forward to seeing what God has in store and will be cheering these seniors on each step of the way, praying for them, and sharing in their excitement during this momentous time,” said Mark Childs, Vice President of STCH Ministries Homes for Children. “Congratulations, class of 2018!”

Senate Resolution 803

Over the past 65 years, STCH Ministries has had countless opportunities to stand beside numerous organizations in bringing hope and healing to hurting children and families. It is an honor to have recently been recognized by the Texas Senate in Senate Resolution No. 803, memorializing the work STCH Ministries has done over the last several decades.

Judith Zaffirini, a Texas State Senator from the 21st District, has had a long-standing rapport with STCH Ministries and sponsored Senate Resolution 803. It declares, “STCH Ministries has had a profound impact on the lives of children and families in need for 65 years, and the organization is truly deserving of special recognition as it achieves this milestone in its history.”

Relationships and partnerships made with senators, churches, foundations, and businesses are vital to the future of STCH Ministries and we celebrate occasions such as these that highlight how far we have come and the noteworthy people we have met along the way.

It is a blessing and a privilege to be acknowledged by such a reputable entity. As Mark Childs, Vice President of Homes for Children, ardently stated, “Now, more than ever, there exists a need for the private non-profit sector to work closely with our local, state, and national governments to advocate for children.”

Looking back to where it all began, with Laura Boothe and Jess Lunsford, an empty lot of land and a heart and vision to care for children, it is amazing to see how God has flourished the original vision and multiplied the number of people we are able to reach throughout our nine different ministries in Texas and the Dominican Republic.

On December 2nd, 2017, STCH Ministries will host a celebration in honor of the past 65 years and all God has done in and through this ministry. It will be a time of reflection on the past and expectation to what God holds for the future. We invite everyone to come out and celebrate during this momentous occasion, and learn more about the heart and mission of STCH Ministries. It will be a day of fun and fellowship for the entire family. Our doors will open for the general public at 3 pm and we hope to see you at our 65th Anniversary Celebration!