Protecting our clients and staff during COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and in protection of our community’s health, we’ve made alternative arrangements for many of our services, info meetings, and events. Please see our events and meeting tab for details on each specific event, some of which are changing to an online format. Please contact our office with questions on office hours, services, or events.

Meet The Team

Renee Eggebraaten

Renee Eggebraaten

Branch Director - Rapid City

Welcome to Bethany Christian Services of Western South Dakota and Cheyenne! It is my privilege to serve as branch director in Cheyenne, Rapid City and Sioux Falls. I have worked in this field for more than 30 years and love the work and ministry of this agency. Whether it is the services we provide to adoptive families or the support and counsel we provide to expectant parents, all of this is done with genuine compassion and care by our staff. I am also excited to have Safe Families for Children™ as an active and growing ministry in our branch. Thank you for taking the time to visit us and we look forward to assisting you.

Kenneth Smit

Kenneth Smit

Regional Director of Philanthropy/Team Lead - Orange City

Ken and his wife, Kim, have four children and six grandchildren. Ken felt the calling to help “every child find a loving family” back in 2013 and joined Bethany after a long career with Procter & Gamble and the Sioux Center Hospital. He is a regional development director working with the Eastern South Dakota office and the Northwest Iowa office in Orange City, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska. Ken has been a volunteer EMT for more than 30 years and considers EMT work as his second ministry.

Melissa Steltz

Melissa Steltz

Adoption Specialist - Eastern South Dakota

Melissa has been a licensed social worker for over twenty years and with Bethany since 2008. She graduated from Augustana College with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and from the University of South Dakota with a master’s degree in Social Work. She has held a lifelong passion for adoption and loves seeing how God creates relationships and families. She and her husband Michael are blessed with three children biologically and through adoption. Melissa enjoys traveling, hiking, and reading.

Deborah Wright

Deborah Wright

ReNew Peer Support Specialist - Eastern South Dakota

Deb joined Bethany Christian Services in November 2020 as our ReNew Peer Support Specialist. She is a recovering addict and celebrated 17 years clean in December 2020! Deb has worked with many people seeking recovery over the past 10 years and is very passionate about helping people find hope and to obtain the life they have always dreamed of. Working with people with substance use issues is not only rewarding for her, but it also helps her in her own recovery. Two things Deb feels are on the top of her priority list are self-care and validation of one’s feelings. She is excited and blessed to be a part of the ReNew team and can’t wait to join the journeys of those looking for support.

Heidi Thomas

Heidi Thomas

Women’s Advocate and Case Manager for ReNew - Eastern South Dakota

Heidi has been with Bethany Christian Services since March 2020 and transitioned from working with Safe Families for Children to the Women’s Advocate and Case Manager for ReNew in October, 2020. Heidi has a BA in Social Work and will graduate with her Master’s in Social Work in May 2021. Heidi brings a wide variety of professional experiences to the Bethany team including working with victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, teen mothers and living abroad in an international community for 4 years with her husband and three children. Heidi’s passionate about meeting people in their greatest time of need and believes that everyone deserves to have help and hope in ways that are meaningful to them. Heidi and her husband, Tim have been married for 17 years and have three children together. Their family enjoys biking, traveling, camping, reading and spending quality time together.

Kari Davelaar

Kari Davelaar

Church and Volunteer Engagement coordinator for SFFC - Eastern South Dakota

Kari joined Safe Families for Children/Bethany Christian Services as the Church and Volunteer Engagement coordinator in December 2020. She has been a Safe Families volunteer and Ministry lead for 7 years. Before coming to Bethany, Kari worked as a registered nurse in several different areas of care including oncology, outpatient surgery, and faith community nursing. It was faith community nursing that led her to a more community focused outreach in her church and her involvement with Safe Families. Kari is married to her husband Mike and they have four adult children, three in-law kids, and one grandson. Grandchild number two, a girl, is on the way. In her spare time Kari enjoys gardening, remodeling, and walking.

Kathryn Olson

Kathryn Olson

SFFC Intake and Family Coach Coordinator and Pregnancy Counselor - Eastern South Dakota

Kathryn joined Bethany Christian Services as Pregnancy Counselor/Safe Families for Children (SFFC) Intake and Family Coach Coordinator in December 2020. Kathryn has her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Concordia College Moorhead, and her Master of Science in Counseling from Minnesota State University Moorhead. She has been a South Dakota licensed Social Work Associate since January 2019. Kathryn has worked with a variety of age groups, and has experience in childcare, counseling centers, higher education, training, and supervision. Kathryn is passionate about working with SFFC, and loves that it promotes family re-unification. She is excited to work to create safe environments for children whether that be through SFFC or Pregnancy Counseling, with the help of God’s Love. Kathryn and her husband Jonathan were married in 2019 and enjoy music, art, and spending time together.