On 6/16/2020, Debi Tengler who is the Chief Relations Officer for Arrow Child & Family Ministries, spoke to the membership of the Magnolia Rotary Club about her organization. Pictured above is Debi Tengler.
Debi Tengler is the Chief Relations Officer for Arrow Child & Family Ministries (ACFM). Her primary roles are to cultivate donor relations and educate the church and community about Arrow’s mission of Helping Kids & Strengthening Families. Debi is an honors graduate from the College of Biblical Studies, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Biblical studies with emphasis on Biblical counseling. She is also a licensed and ordained minister with World Ministry Fellowship.
Debi joined the meeting via Zoom along with four other Magnolia Rotary Club members (Carl, David, Glenn and Hugh). The rest of the members (Barbara, Charles, Frank, Hope, Kelly, Real, Ted, and Tom) were physically present at the MISD Event Center where the club met prior to COVID-19. This was the first real test of the club's efforts to be able to hold true hybrid meetings where a speaker and members can be physically anywhere in the world but be able to talk to each other as if in the same room. The club purchased an additional camera and speakers to make it work. The results were mostly good but there are still some sound issues that have to be worked out.
Debi told everyone that ACFM started in 1992 from the heart of a foster child who turned in a child predator (step dad) and ended up being taken from his home and put into foster care. That same former foster child then grew up in a loving, Christian foster home and help to start ACFM in order to help other children in foster care.
Since that beginning in 1992 foster care, new services and programs have continued to develop and expand as ACFM fulfills their mission of helping kids and strengthening families. ACFM is grateful to have been used by God in the past to change lives, but they are even more excited and humbled by what He will accomplish through their ministry in the future. Some of the services ACFM offers are: Foster Care, Psychiatric Rehabilitation (in Maryland), Behavioral Health Services (Texas), Arrow Health Solutions for Families, Residential Treatment Programs, and the Arrow Center for Education. These programs are funded by grants and private donations. Debi was proud to say that 90% of all funds received go directly into their programs. Debi also pointed out that ACFM is part of a nationally accredited program to guarantee the safety and stability of their foster kids.
Debi told everyone that she started with ACFM 6 years ago because she truly believed in their mission. Today, ACFM is one of the leading providers of foster care in Texas and the United States.They currently have facilities in Texas and Maryland. The kids (all 18 and under) usually come to them from Child Protective Services (CPS).
Debi also stated that ACFM works very closely with local government agencies who deal with child abuse to make sure that every abused child gets a chance to grow up in a loving, Christian home. Currently there are around 450,000 kids in foster care within the United States. Debi pointed out that ACFM has a high rate of successful placement of foster kids and most all of those kids get adopted by loving families. Another statistic Debi gave everyone is that about 84% of all criminals come from foster homes. Much of this has to do with all the stress foster kids go through every time they move to another foster home. It has been estimated that a large majority of foster kids experience at least 8 foster homes before ageing out of the system.
Debi told everyone that in her experience every child needs 3 things: a baby blanket (security), a blue ribbon (value), and a leather jacket (belonging). If they don't get these things before becoming an adult there is a very high likely hood that they will end up in a criminal activity since many of them turn to gangs to find those thinks we all need.
For more information on ACFM, go to www.arrow.org.
A photo of those members (and Debi & Hope) who joined via Zoom can be seen below: