Bethany Christian Services Serves Record Number of Children and Families in 2019

July 09, 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, MI., July 9, 2020 - Bethany Christian Services today released their annual report showing that the organization impacted a total of 234,746 people around the world in 2019. With a presence in more than 30 states and a dozen countries, Bethany offers a wide array of services with a common mission: to serve vulnerable children and families and help them thrive.

“During a time when our world is experiencing unprecedented uncertainty and change, Bethany remains motivated by our faith and united in our mission,” said Chris Palusky, President and CEO of Bethany. “Hundreds of millions of children around the world are unprotected and poorly defended. As Christians, we put our trust in God and our passion into the ways we can be the hands and feet of Jesus.”

In the United States alone, Bethany experienced record growth in its services to support and preserve families in crisis, expanding by 17.6% in 2019. The organization served 8,417 children and families through foster care as well as 5,033 children and families through Safe Families for Children, a service designed to provide compassionate, caring community for families and children in need of loving, supportive environments, often diverting them from being unnecessarily placed in the foster care system.

“At Bethany, we’re so grateful not for the numbers themselves, but for what they represent—real children and real families,” said Cheri Williams, Senior Vice President of Domestic Programs. “During this unique time in history, families are under extraordinary amounts of stress. We are committed to the continued expansion of our domestic services to support struggling and isolated families across the country so children can safely stay with their families and in their communities.”

Bethany also remains active in serving children and families who came to the U.S. as refugees and immigrants. In 2019, Bethany helped reunify 2,452 children and families. The organization also provided temporary, family-based care for 667 unaccompanied children while working to reunify them with their biological families.

“There are more than 79 million forcibly displaced people in the world — the majority being women and children,” said Dona Abbott, Senior Vice President of Global, Refugee, and Immigrant Services. “This statistic is staggering. We cannot ignore the call to care for the orphan and the widow clearly outlined in Scripture. At Bethany, our faith compels us to action.”

Bethany’s impact extends beyond borders. In response to the global orphan crisis, the organization works with local churches and governments to connect children in need with adoptive and foster families in their country of origin. As a result, in 2019 Bethany’s Global Services saw a 35% increase in lives impacted through in-country adoptions.

“We’re passionate about coming alongside other countries as they develop programs to support vulnerable children through families,” said Kristi Gleason, Vice President of Global Programs. “Our work is culturally sensitive and tailored for each country, the goal being to empower people right where they live.”

Bethany Christian Services has been supporting children and families for over 75 years, seeking to demonstrate the love and compassion of Jesus Christ by protecting children, strengthening families, and empowering youth through quality social services.

To see Bethany’s full report, including impact stories, videos, and additional data visit

About Bethany Christian Services Bethany Christian Services is a global nonprofit that supports children and families with world-class social services, all designed to help families thrive. Over 75 years ago, we began our work by serving a single child. Today, we work in more than 30 states and around the world, impacting hundreds of thousands of lives every year.