CONNECTIONS INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY SERVICES INC

"Empowering youth, Connecting families, Building futures."

aka Connections   |   New Braunfels, TX   |  www.connectionsifs.org

Mission

"Strengthening communities, one youth and one family at a time."

Ruling year info

1981

Chief Executive Officer

Jacob Huerca

Main address

1414 W. San Antonio St

New Braunfels, TX 78130 USA

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Formerly known as

Teen Connection/Comal County Juvenile Residential Supervision and Treatment Center, Inc.

EIN

74-2179169

NTEE code info

Other Mental Health, Crisis Intervention N.E.C. (F99)

Other Youth Development N.E.C. (O99)

Other Housing, Shelter N.E.C. (L99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The agency's mission speaks to the heart of the damaging long-term negative mental and physical health effects of family violence, child abuse, and trauma. There is growing evidence that the physical growth and development of children is negatively impacted by distress, anxiety, and trauma. In fact, a task force through the Attorney General's Office found that 60% of children nationwide will have their lives touched by violence, crime, abuse, and psychological trauma in a given year (December 2012). Texas state child abuse and family violence statistics highlight the presence of significant risk factors that jeopardize the safety, current well being, and current success of children. In fact, child abuse rates are higher than the state average in many communities the agency serves. Without positive family guidance and support during childhood, future physical and mental health, financial stability, safety, and relationships are threatened.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Counseling Services, including FAYS (Family and Youth Success) and counseling for crime victims

On-site counseling services in 11 Texas rural/suburban counties, including Comal, Guadalupe, Bastrop, Caldwell, Lee, Gonzales, Wilson, Karnes, Atascosa, Frio, and Zavala Counties. Most services focus on children, teens, and their families and are at no cost to those seeking help. Services are provided at office sites, virtually, at schools, and at family homes if transportation is a financial barrier.

Population(s) Served
Families
At-risk youth

Connections operates two emergency shelters for youth ages 5-17 who are in the midst of a crisis and need a safe place to stay. The program accepts youth ages 10 to 17 referred due to runaway behaviors, family conflict, abuse and neglect, or homelessness; this includes youth who are part of the state’s foster care system (Texas Department of Family and Protective Services). The program also accepts youth ages 5-9 who are in the state’s foster care system or are experiencing a family crisis that requires a brief placement.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people
At-risk youth

Long-term residential program for older youth ages 15-21 years old who are preparing to exit the foster care system. Program is designed to teach and strengthen life skills, to assist with trauma recovery and improved coping skills, to complete high school and prepare for pursuing advanced academic or vocational education or career opportunities.

Population(s) Served
Non-adult children
Victims and oppressed people

Provides curriculum-based education for school-age youth and activities. information, and referrals for any age. Program utilizes nationally-recognized evidence-based curriculum, such as Positive Action and Curriculum Based Support group (Kids Connection/Youth Connection). All prevention efforts are designed to prevent underage drinking and use of substances that can negatively impact healthy living, family relationships, academics or employment, or effective coping skills. Primary substances targeted are: alcohol (underage drinking), opioid misuse/abuse, tobacco use, marijuana use, and prescription drug misuse.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth

Program designed to engage key community stakeholders on addressing underage drinking and substance misuse in the effort to improve healthy lifestyles in the community and protect children and teens from substance addiction and its negative impacts to health, relationships, self-sufficiency, and overall lifespan. Program designed to engage the community to improve the overall health of the community through improved community awareness and action to prevent substance misuse and underage drinking.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Non-adult children

Where we work

Accreditations

National Accreditation 2020

Awards

Steve Wick Award for Innovative Program Development 2008

The Texas Network of Youth Services (TNOYS)

Affiliations & memberships

National Network for Youth 2010

National Safe Place 2010

United Way Member Agency 2010

Texas network of Youth Services 2020

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of participants counseled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Families

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These numbers include services to community based clients as well as residenital youth.

Number of clients reporting increased knowledge after educational programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Substance Abuse/Misuse Prevention and Education

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Families

Related Program

Counseling Services, including FAYS (Family and Youth Success) and counseling for crime victims

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These number only reflect community based services and do not include residential counseling services.

Number of participants reporting change in behavior or cessation of activity

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Counseling Services, including FAYS (Family and Youth Success) and counseling for crime victims

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is a percentage of the clients that closed reported a change in the behavior or cessation of the activity that lead to the initial referral for services in the community based services.

Average number of service recipients per month

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Counseling Services, including FAYS (Family and Youth Success) and counseling for crime victims

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Average monthly served decreased slightly due to the average length of session increased for most clinical staff from 35 minutes to 50 minutes.

Number of direct care staff who received training in trauma informed care

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Youth Emergency Shelters

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We did not start focusing on trauma-informed care agency wide until 2019. At this time, it became manditory that all agency staff be trained in trauma-informed care, TBRI.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Connections aims to strengthen positive family relationships so that children have more opportunity to grow into successful, productive adults; this aim also stresses the prevention of child abuse and family violence as well as building youth resiliency and decreasing individual and family risk factors, such as substance abuse, suicide risk, homelessness, and untreated mental health issues. When this is not possible, our next aim is to protect children from harm through shelter, trauma-informed care, counseling, and support in learning the coping skills and resources to be self-sufficient, gain a sense of self-worth, recover from past trauma, manage stress effectively and safely, and resist substance abuse and/or crime. We meet our mission and aims through a variety of services for youth, adults, and families.

We meet our mission and aims through a variety of strategies for youth, adults, and families. These include:
A 24-hour hotline for crisis intervention and crisis counseling

Education utilizing evidence-based curriculum to build youth resiliency and strengthen families, particularly with a focus on preventing child abuse, substance abuse, and juvenile crime

Counseling services for youth, families, couples and individual adults utilizing evidence-based models

Emergency shelter and trauma informed care for youth ages 5-17 who have run away, been abused or neglected, are homeless, or are experiencing intense family conflict

Transitional living services for youth ages 15-21 who are in the foster care system or who are estranged from their families. This also includes employability training, including building a resume, job search and interviewing skills, and exploring and pursuing career goals.

Since its inception in 1981, Connections has been guided by its vision for communities where every individual is safe, valued and has the opportunity to lead a meaningful life. The agency has long-term stability in offering its core services for well over 20 years, with most of the same services offered since soon after the agency's inception. At the same time, the agency implements cutting-edge approaches in its counseling, substance abuse prevention, and residential models of care that have been researched and are nationally recognized as having proven evidence of making a positive difference. Connections also has established protocols of financial management and of evaluating its services and overall agency performance, with proven success for many years. In fact, the agency is currently building on its achievements by seeking national accreditation in social services through the Council On Accreditation (COA).

Connections has ensured that its employees and volunteers are trained in providing trauma informed care, in detecting and addressing signs of emerging mental health issues, and in maximizing agency and community resources to address community need. The agency implements nationally-recognized, evidence-based approaches in its services and measures the impact of these approaches for continuous quality improvement. Connections continues to improve its employee retention and prides itself on hiring, developing, and retaining employees with expertise in their field. In fact, many of the agency's employees are either certified or licensed professionals in their field of expertise, even for prevention services in which a professional license is not required. The agency is currently in the process of seeking national accreditation of its social services through the Council On Accreditation; currently, less than 10% of non-profit agencies in Texas have national accreditation.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Community meetings/Town halls, Virtual Suggestion Box,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We found ways to expand our number of counselors and also increased the level of expertise of our counselors to more effectively address issues of trauma and behavioral/mental health issues, particularly anxiety and depression. We have been able to also increase training for trauma informed care to include all of the agency staff. We have created a diversity committee to ensure that we are listening and being inclusive. We have increased inclusivity trainings for all staff especially Leadership.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve,

Financials

CONNECTIONS INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY SERVICES INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

CONNECTIONS INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY SERVICES INC

Board of directors
as of 04/29/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Amy Cunduff

No Affiliation

Term: 2020 - 2022

Amy Cunduff

The Heart of Illinois Special Recreation Association

Jane Childers, Ph.D.

Trinity University

Brent Perry

Caleb Scott

Hal Holtman

Holtman and Company

Alex Marlow

Delta Airlines

Pia Lomax

Executive Coach

Amanda Anding

Environmental Consulting

George Scofield

Lawyer

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/3/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Multi-Racial/Multi-Ethnic (2+ races/ethnicities)
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/02/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.