Bethany Christian Services Receives Approval to Launch Foster Care Program for Unaccompanied Children in Indiana

November 27, 2018

(Indianapolis, November 27, 2018) – Bethany Christian Services (Bethany), an international nonprofit committed to bringing and keeping families together, is introducing a Transitional Foster Care program for Unaccompanied Children in the state of Indiana in partnership with The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This means that children fleeing for their lives from Central America will be kept safe in foster homes. With stories like “Migrant Children Moved Under Cover of Darkness to a Texas Tent City” dominating the headlines, families in Indiana will have the opportunity to partner with Bethany and provide these children with alternatives – the safety and love of a family – until they are reunified with their own families.

“Our ultimate goal is to reunify these children with their families,” said Linda Wrestler, Indiana branch director for Bethany Christian Services. “The purpose of transitional foster care is to provide a safe, loving home for children as an alternative to detention or tent cities so that they have access to health care and education while efforts are made to reunify them with family.”

Bethany has successfully run transitional foster care programs in Michigan and Maryland since 2012 and, for more than 20 years, the organization has helped unaccompanied children reunify with family in the United States. In its history, Bethany has provided critical support to more than 13,500 unaccompanied minors since 1975. In addition to serving unaccompanied children in other states for more than four decades, Bethany has provided domestic foster care services in Indiana since 2005.

“At Bethany, we believe families belong together,” said Chris Palusky, president and CEO of Bethany Christian Services. “Introducing a transitional foster care program in Indiana, will give vulnerable children the opportunity to receive the care they so desperately need while Bethany staff pursues reunification.”

The program is federally funded through HHS and can serve up to 18 children at a time. Foster parents for the transitional foster care program will receive extensive training, which will include learning how to provide adequate care for the trauma so many unaccompanied children have experienced. Bethany has been actively involved in the Indianapolis community for over 30 years which has allowed the organization to form relationships with a network of potential foster parents.

For more information on the transitional foster care program in Indiana, visit Bethany.org/TransitionalFC.

About Bethany Christian Services Bethany Christian Services was founded in 1944 and has grown to 120 branch locations in 35 states. The agency serves thousands of children annually nationwide in foster care programs and provides services across a continuum of care. Bethany’s mission is to find a loving, permanent home for every child. For more information, call 1-800-BETHANY or visit bethany.org.

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