Passionate About Helping Children!

Courtney Banatoski (photo by Tiffany Ramzy)

Tiffany Ramzy

VU Hosts Guest Speaker from Cumberland Youth & Family Services.

Voices United (VU) regularly hosts a monthly meeting and luncheon at the clubhouse on the first Saturday of every month. During these meetings, each committee gives a report, and there is often an outside guest speaker. On Nov. 5 the guest speaker was Courtney Banatoski, president and CEO of Cumberland Youth & Family Services. This was the final guest speaker for the year, and the topic was very timely, since this is the holiday season when our minds tend to be focused on family, giving thanks, giving gifts, and bringing joy to others, especially the young people in our lives. By the end of Ms. Banatoski’s presentation, several VU members had already donated funds online or were looking for ways to volunteer with the organization.

Cumberland Youth & Family Services, a 501(c)(3), has a 118-year history, and began as an orphanage for the Cumberland Presbyterian Denomination. Over time, as the need evolved, so has Cumberland. Since 2012, they have been an independent non-profit. They are committed to keeping youth safe and keeping families together by providing care and services that improve the quality of life for youth in foster care, young adults aging out of foster care, and single-parent families.

Ms. Banatoski spoke passionately about how lives are being changed at Cumberland. She spoke about the sad reality of what happens to foster kids when they age out of the system and often end up on the streets. Those who make it to college are often still at a disadvantage, especially during holiday breaks when most others have families. Cumberland has programs to help these young adults make the transition from foster care. Via another program, Cumberland partners with North Central Texas College to provide educational services.

With a staff of 53 caring workers, Cumberland is proud to offer the following programs all on one campus, allowing residents to move from one program to another as their needs change:

Children’s Residential Program: Bridges the gap between 3,500 kids a day needing care, yet only less than 700 foster homes

Adolescent Center: One of six places in Texas supporting young girls who have experienced severe trauma and are transitioning from lockdown residential and psychiatric systems

Supervised Independent Living: Provides housing, counseling, and living and learning experiences for those that age out of foster care at age 18

Family Residential Program: Supports single-parent families while they work to rebuild and stabilize their lives

Cumberland believes in transformation through community and welcomes volunteers and mentors. For more information about donating to Cumberland Youth & Family Services or for individual or group volunteer opportunities, visit

Voices United is a non-partisan group of Robson Ranch women who share progressive values, perform community outreach, provide civic awareness and social contact for members … and have a good time! It is a 501(c)(3) organization open to Robson Ranch residents. For more information and/or to join, contact [email protected].