"Like a shepherd He will tend his flock ... and gently lead the mother sheep with their young." (Isaiah 40)
The mission of Good Shepherd Children & Family Services is to connect children with families and to keep families connected. Our Catholic tradition instructs us especially to care for the widow and the orphan. Today, the widow is a single mom and the orphan is a child in foster care.
Good Shepherd has been helping children and families for nearly 200 years, but you may know our work by other names. We merged to form Good Shepherd in 2006 from the four historic agencies of St. Joseph's Home & Family Services, Fr. Dunne's Home for Boys, Marian Hall/Villa Maria, and Catholic Services for Children & Youth, serving the poor, abandoned, abused, and neglected youth of the metropolitan St. Louis area and surrounding counties since 1836. Today, we continue the mission through four primary services:
- Maternity Care
- Foster Care
- Expectant Parent and Pregnancy Services
- Adoption Services
"Whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me." (Mark 9:37)
Our Maternity Care provides shelter, support, and treatment for pregnant and/or parenting teens and their children who have nowhere to go. We serve both young women aged 12-21 who have been referred to us from the Missouri Department of Social Services to provide oversight and therapy and young women in the St. Louis area who are pregnant and/or parenting and homeless. Our specialized staff teaches young teen mothers parenting skills, life skills, and education. We provide daily groups that range from parenting classes, life skills classes, and psychotherapy group, as well as work with a licensed therapist. Our Maternity program is supported by a part-time nurse and a full-time educational coordinator.
"I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." (John 14:18)
Children enter foster care for many reasons - poverty, abuse, neglect - but never because of their own choice. As part of St. Louis Partners, our Foster Care program provides case management and resource development as it seeks to reunite families or to link abused and neglected youth in Missouri's foster care system (birth to 21) with permanent loving homes. Our Fostering Faithful Families project is designed to engage the Catholic Faith Community in support of foster families. Do you have room in your heart and home to be a Good Shepherd foster family?
Expectant Parent and Pregnancy Services
"You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb." (Psalm 139:13)
Pregnant? Afraid? Don't know where to turn? Not sure what to do? If you are pregnant and need help; if you are parenting a young child and feel overwhelmed; if you want to learn how to be the best parent you can be ... Good Shepherd welcomes you. We can help you right now. Our Expectant Parent program works with pregnant women in crisis to provide counseling, resource linkage, and concrete aid aimed at ensuring healthy infants and healthy families. Our EP and Maternity programs provide services for expectant moms, dads and family members impacted by a pregnancy; pregnant and parenting teens in need of help in learning how to parent; and parents of young children aged 0 to 5 who are parenting under stressful circumstances.
"I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted my request." (1 Samuel 11:27)
Our Adoption Services program helps to find safe, loving, adoptive homes for children in need. All children deserve to grow up in a loving stable home. As part of the Catholic Charities federation of agencies, Good Shepherd has been a provider of adoption services for well over 80 years. Our program is open to single individuals and married couples residing within the St. Louis Archdiocese. Good Shepherd is always seeking adoptive parents who reflect diverse cultures and are open to older children, those with special medical needs, and sibling groups as well as infants.
Please call Good Shepherd Children & Family Services at (314) 854-5700 for more information on any of our services.
Children and teens in foster youth are often spoken of in terms of statistics – 10,000 Missouri kids in foster care, the number aging out each year, those who are likely to be homeless or pregnant after leaving foster care, etc. – but they are real, live, one-of-a-kind kids with real stories to tell.