Bethany Christian Services Foster Care Case Manager Awarded John P. Steketee Child Welfare Advocate of the Year Award

December 03, 2020

Kendra Vander Klipp, clinical foster care case manager at Bethany Christian Services, a nonprofit organization supporting vulnerable children and families in Michigan, across the U.S., and around the world, was named the recipient of the John P. Steketee Child Welfare Advocate of the Year Award. The award honors the late judge John P. Steketee who presided over the Kent County Juvenile Court and was regarded as a tireless advocate for children. Recipients of the award are Kent County professionals who demonstrate a similar spirit of advocacy in their work with vulnerable children who have experienced abuse and/or neglect.

Vander Klipp began working at Bethany in 2015 as an intern and transitioned to the role of foster care case manager in 2016, later joining Bethany’s Enhanced Foster Care program in 2018 as a clinical case manager. She advocates for children and youth who have experienced significant trauma, ensuring they receive the resources and support they need to thrive in their homes and at school. She also ensures families have a network of support that help them meet the needs of the child.

“Kendra has a natural ability to connect with the families and the kids she walks alongside,” said Emma Schab, director of child welfare services at Bethany Christian Services of Grand Rapids. “She ensures that children have a support network , including biological parents, foster parents, teachers, and other service providers, that is equipped to help them find stability and thrive.”

“Kendra is a fierce and determined advocate,” said Rachel Willis, Vice President of Regional Operations at Bethany. “Kendra’s innovation and trauma-informed approach has proven to be successful in helping children and youth achieve permanency with their biological families or adoptive families.

Vander Klipp will receive the Steketee Award at the West Michigan Partnership for Children’s virtual holiday open house on December 3 at 12:00 p.m.

To learn more about Bethany’s work with children in foster care, visit

About Bethany Christian Services Bethany is an international Christian nonprofit changing the world through family. Around 75 years ago, we began our work by serving one child. Today, we partner with churches and communities in more than 30 states and nearly a dozen countries to strengthen and preserve families, support refugees and immigrants fleeing danger, and find safe, loving families for children who need them. Bethany demonstrates the love and compassion of Jesus, impacting hundreds of thousands of lives every year, because we believe everyone deserves to be safe, loved, and connected.