Two non-profit agencies serving at-risk children and families ― Austin-based Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services (PCHAS) and St. Louis-based Children’s Foundation of Mid-America (CFMA) ― have announced an alliance they say will improve and expand their services in Texas, Louisiana and Missouri.  

The combined network will be called Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services of Texas, Missouri and Louisiana.

The agreement is different from a merger in that both organization will continue to operate as distinctly separate non-profit organizations with their own boards, by-laws and budgets. However, significant cost savings are being realized through economies of scale related to employee benefits and by combining administrative functions.

The two agencies began discussing the possibility of forming a network a year ago, officials of both agencies say.

“We want to make the world a better place for as many needy children and families as possible,” said Ed Knight, PCHAS’ president and CEO. “After many discussions, meetings and planning sessions, PCHAS’ and CFMA’s leadership concluded the two agencies would benefit each other by working closely together to serve more children and families.”

What began as a conversation related to problems brought on by the pressure of a poor economy and made worse by funding limitations of the state –mandated managed care environment in Missouri, for example, “became an opportunity for growth and expansion. Together with CFMA, we will serve more than 6,700 children and families in three states,” Knight says

 “We are very excited about affiliating with another well-respected Presbyterian-related organization. Thousands of children and families are in critical need of the services we provide. In the face of high unemployment and financial instability, many families are at risk of breaking apart and need our family preservation services. For many others, circumstances are so dire that our residential care programs are needed to offer a safe and therapeutic respite,” said Knight.

Four representatives of the PCHAS Board of Trustees, including Knight, will join the CFMA board of directors and three representatives of CFMA’s board will join the PCHAS board of trustees. Knight will serve as president of the CFMA board of directors. 

The CFMA board has elected to do business as Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services of Missouri, thereby reclaiming its Presbyterian roots.

“Each year, nearly 500,000 children are temporarily or permanently removed from their parents’ care for reasons such as neglect, abandonment and abuse,” said Robert Giegling, executive director of PCHAS of Missouri. “Some of these children require intensive therapeutic treatment. Each child deserves the opportunity to receive the help he or she needs to achieve a better future. Together as part of the PCHAS network, we will be able to provide hope and healing to more children than ever before.”

Since 1903, PCHAS of Texas and Louisiana has been providing Christ-centered services for children and families in need.  Its continuum of care includes foster care, adoption, education, family preservation, group homes for children and support for struggling single parents. PCHAS of Texas and Louisiana’s programs serve more than 4,500 children and families each year.

Like its sister agency to the south, PCHAS of Missouri has provided hope and healing to children and families since 1914. Since the agency’s beginnings as an orphanage in Farmington, Mo., it has grown into a state-wide organization offering a continuum of care that includes residential treatment, counseling, therapeutic mentoring, intensive in-home therapy and foster care. Its programs serve more than 2,200 children and families in need each year.

For more information about Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services of Texas, Missouri and Louisiana, please contact Margaret Barry by email at or by phone at 512-476-1234 or 800-888-1904, ext. 18.