Posted by Carl Gerhardt on Feb 05, 2019
On 2/5/2019, Amy Kimbrell, Foster & Adoption Supervisor for Buckner, spoke to the membership of the Magnolia Rotary Club about Buckner International and the many faith based services they offer to the community. Pictured above from left to right are: Amy Kimbrell and Assistant Elsey Perez.
Amy Kimbrell explained that Buckner International is a global, faith based, organization that is a ministry dedicated to the transformation and restoration of the lives they serve. Further, they are a Christ-centered organization that delivers redemptive ministry to the most vulnerable from the beginning to the ending of life.  Amy explained that although she is based in the Houston area, Buckner International provides services in seven countries around the world. However, the foster and adoptive care parts of Buckner International are only located in the state of Texas.
Using a slide presentation, Amy explained that Dr. Robert Cooke founded Buckner Orphans Home in Dallas in 1879 after seeing the needs of hurting and orphaned children in post-Civil War Texas. In the first years, the Buckner Orphans Home was filled with children left parent-less due to disease and hardship. It was Dr. Cooke's deep compassion for the hopeless and helpless that served as the driving force behind his ministry. He constantly looked for innovative ways to deliver social ministries, including those to elders, combining his theological beliefs with a progressive social conscience.
Amy further explained that the scope of Buckner includes Family Hope Centers, Family Pathways, Foster Care and Adoption and Retirement Care:
  • Buckner Family Hope Centers seek to keep families together by providing them with critical services, aid and coaching to keep them strong and decrease the likelihood of abuse, neglect and removal of children.
  • Buckner Family Pathways programs are designed to help single parents strengthen their families and reduce barriers to self-sufficiency such as lack of education and life skills.
  • Buckner Foster Care and Adoption provides safe and loving homes for vulnerable children who need them — for a season or forever. Foster care and adoption are profound ways to change a child’s life forever, and our commitment to family means we provide comprehensive services for you and the children we serve across Texas. Our goal and ministry is to help every child find hope and healing through family foster care or permanency through reunification with kin or through the blessing of adoption.
  • Buckner Retirement Services offers beautiful senior living communities in Texas, state-of-the-art health services and pampering amenities. But it’s the people at Buckner – and their passion – that set Buckner apart as a caring, giving place to enjoy your retirement years.
Amy then spoke to the overall needs in the state of Texas:
  • 18,993 Texas children were removed from their homes during a 12-month period.
  • 21.7% of Texas child abuse investigations were confirmed during a 12 month period.
  • 48,795 Texas children (ages 0-20) are in substitute care placements.
  • 6,999 Texas children are waiting to be adopted.
Amy then told everyone of the Buckner locations of Foster Care & Adoption in Texas:
  • Amarillo
  • Conroe
  • Longview
  • Lubbock
  • Lufkin
  • Midland
  • Tyler
  • Lufkin
Amy then spoke some about the Buckner Programs as well as why children are in foster care:
  • Foster Care - Includes Basic Care, Therapeutic Care, Respite Care, and Substitute Care
  • Foster to Adopt - Need to investigate motivation, faith (belief in any higher power), knowledge, and gifts
  • Waiting Texas Children - Work with Texas CPS to determine children in need
  • Kinship Care = Buckner supports families caring for relatives placed in foster care by providing financial and support services and connections to needed resources
  • Domestic Infant Adoption - work with biological & adoptive parents to foster a nurturing home for the infant.
Some of the questions asked by the Magnolia Rotary Club membership were:
  • Where does funding come from? - Funding is through an endowment fund, donor funds, and CPS contracts.
  • Does faith play a role in an adoption? - Yes, but not specific to any one religion. However, faith in a higher power is required and the adopting couple must be married (one man, one women). Texas law allows this.
  • Is child allowed to participate in their own faith? - Yes, this is a basic requirement of adopting parents.
  • Is Star of Hope connected to Buckner? - Yes, Star of Hope is a Buckner partner.
  • How did Amy get involved with Buckner? - Amy worked for CPS for 12 years before God led her to Buckner and she loves working for them.
Amy also handed out 4 flyers about some of the Buckner programs. For more information about Buckner International, go to: