Bethany believes that children thrive in loving homes, families thrive in supportive communities, and communities thrive when strong families are their foundation. But families around the world face unique challenges: poverty, violence, and instability. Through education, advocacy, empowerment, and direct care, Bethany strengthens vulnerable children and families around the world in the name of Jesus. Because everyone deserves to be safe, loved, and connected.
Inspired by faith, Bethany has been serving children and families for over 75 years, extending its mission internationally in 1982. Today, Bethany continues to expand its services across the globe in South America, the Caribbean, and Africa.
As always, we welcome their comment on why they decided to join the KCS members’ network:
What is your key driver in your ambition to implement child safeguarding
All children have an inalienable right to protection from harm. That’s why Bethany works to ensure children around the world live in an environment that provides safety, love, and connection through the family. The best interests and well-being of children are at the heart of everything we do, and a robust child safeguarding system is a vital part of ensuring their safety.
While Bethany has always incorporated child safeguarding measures, we recognize the need to expand and formalize those efforts. We look forward to using the support, resources, and experience of KCS and its members to assist us in developing an effective and comprehensive child safeguarding system. With safety as our main objective, we make certain our operations, programs, and staff do not harm the children we are serving. Our goal is to ensure our employees, volunteers, partners, vendors, and other representatives do not deliberately or unintentionally harm or abuse children or adults in our communities of operation. This includes our direct program implementation, work through partners, and management of children’s personal data.
What made you decide to join the KCS members’ network?
Joining KCS combines Bethany’s organizational strengths and abilities to provide safe measures for the children we serve. Together we strive to listen to and understand those who have been through different experiences so that our programs, services, and advocacy efforts are designed in a holistic way that poses no potential harm to them. Having an approved safeguarding policy and integrating key safeguarding components to our organizational policies and procedures makes safeguarding a formal consideration in everything we do. As we implement the policy with KCS’s support, we aim for each individual to have a solid understanding of safeguarding and how it relates to their unique role, so that there is personal ownership across the entire organization.
Where do you think your organization will be regarding child safeguarding in a year?
Within a year, we expect to complete a formalized strategy for the implementation of training of all staff that includes creating community awareness of safety and right to report and a response action plan with protocols to ensure children’s wellbeing. Also, we will expand on the existing key safeguarding components, integrating safeguarding language in all relevant policies, so it is a top priority in every aspect of the organization.
What message do you want to tell your staff, donors, and the wider world?
Bethany believes every child deserves to be safe, loved, and connected, which is why we collaborate with governments and communities to implement programs that strengthen and enhance the most fundamental child protection system—family. However, without safeguarding, we risk undermining all we hope to accomplish; if we truly seek to serve the best interests of children, youth, and families, safeguarding must be core to who we are and the work that we do.
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