St. Louis, Missouri, June 18, 2014 – With more than 400,000 children in foster care across the United States, the St. Louis and Central/Southern Illinois branch of Bethany Christian Services, the leading global family preservation and child welfare agency, has been lending a hand to families in crisis through its Safe Families for Children (SFFC) ministry. Recently, the branch had the privilege of serving its 500th child through the ministry.


Safe Families for Children is a unique, national movement of compassion that gives hope to families in crisis.  Safe, loving homes are provided to children whose parents may voluntarily have them cared for while they seek to restore stability in their lives. Founded in 2002, SFFC has partnered with churches, local community agencies, and volunteer families, as well as government organizations in more than a dozen states.  The St. Louis branch has been running the ministry for four years and currently has 59 SFFC host families available in which to place children for temporary care. 


“Being a Safe Families for Children host family has taught us so many important lessons – compassion, service, gratitude,” said Ryan and Rhonda Newell, Safe Families for Children hosts and residents of St. Peters. “I can’t say enough about the impact the ministry has had on us.  We feel so blessed to be able to serve our community this way.”


The branch’s SFFC ministry was also recently honored for its outstanding work on behalf of vulnerable children and families in the greater St. Louis and Central/Southern Illinois area by two community organizations – the Jefferson County Probation and Parole District and the Crisis Nursery of St. Louis.


“Keeping children with their parents is always preferred to placing them in foster care,” said Donna Nicholson, branch director. “We are seeing the amazing difference this ministry is making in our community and would like to thank those serving as host families as well as those supporting our efforts to serve families in crisis.”


Local families interested in serving as host families, or those needing support from Bethany’s Safe Families for Children ministry, can learn more at http://www.bethany.org/stlouis.




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