Nonprofit Hires Executive Director to expand services in Florida

December 01, 2018

(WINTER GARDEN, Fla., December XX, 2018) – Bethany Christian Services, a global nonprofit committed to bringing and keeping families together, is introducing a transitional foster care program for unaccompanied children in the state of Florida in partnership with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

This news is coupled with the announcement of a new executive director for the Bethany Florida offices, Laurie Stern. Stern has worked in child welfare for over 16 years. She comes to Bethany after six years working with Eckerd, a child welfare agency in Florida, where she was instrumental in developing a program that partnered organizations in the community to help at-risk youth work through personal trauma.

“Bethany has a sterling reputation in the child welfare industry, and I am thrilled to be joining the organization’s strong team of professionals here in Florida,” said Laurie Stern, executive director of Bethany Christian Services in Florida. “My passion has always been helping families, and—through the expansion of the transitional foster care program for unaccompanied children as well as our other vital services—Bethany is well-equipped to support those who need it most.”

Bethany Christian Services is an advocate for families and offers a variety of services to those in crisis. One of the programs offered is Safe Families for Children, a national movement of compassion that gives hope to families during desperate times. This network of volunteer host families helps parents who need temporary care for their children as they work through critical circumstances.

Bethany in Florida also provides services such as family counseling, infant adoption, international adoption, post adoption support, pregnancy support, trafficking victim assistance and now transitional foster care for unaccompanied children. Bethany has successfully run transitional foster care programs in Michigan and Maryland since 2012. 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.

“A main goal of mine is to gain more awareness in Florida for the great work Bethany is doing in the community,” said Stern. “There is an incredible synergy within our staff. This team is hardworking and cares deeply about the families they serve. There is potential to help so many vulnerable children through the transitional foster care program, and our team is eager to support these children that need a loving home, while we work to reunify them safely with their families.”

Stern earned a master’s degree in public administration from Troy University in Alabama and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in Pennsylvania. In this new role, Stern hopes to be actively involved with churches and community organizations to inform citizens of the work they can do to support their neighboring families and families throughout the world.

For more information on Bethany Christian Services, visit www.bethany.org/florida.

About Bethany Christian Services Bethany Christian Services was founded in 1944 and has grown to 120 branch locations in 36 states and 17 countries. The agency serves approximately 1,200 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, working to reunite children with their biological families or place children in permanent adoptive homes. For more information, call 1-800-BETHANY or visit bethany.org.

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