Your local office:

Families Helping Families in Crisis


Safe Families for Children™ (SFFC) is a national movement of compassion that gives hope to families in crisis. This network of volunteer host families help parents who need temporary care for their children as they work through unmanageable or critical circumstances.

Bethany Christian Services mission is to protect and enhance the lives of vulnerable children and families. Safe Families for Children is an innovative approach that can accomplish this mission. Because of this, Bethany Christian Services partnered with the Safe Families for Children program after being approached by its founder, Dr. David Anderson of Lydia Home Association in Chicago. Dr. Anderson approached Bethany due to our size and scope as an organization with a solid reputation in social services across the USA and globe.

How this program is different than Foster Care or Adoption

Safe Families for Children is an alternative to foster care. In foster care, children are placed into homes through the courts and foster families receive compensation for their care. Through SFFC, host families receive no compensation for caring for children, and parents voluntarily have their children stay with them. The goal of the SFFC ministry is to offer support in a time of need and reunite children with their families in a stronger home environment. This temporary care for children in need gives parents time to establish stability in their homes. 

Because Safe Families for Children is not foster care, the children are not placed in the care of the State. Bethany staff work with the parents during this transition to identify steps to regain stability and reunite with their children quickly and safely. Parents may have their children live with a host family because of any number of challenges such as: 

  • Financial difficulties

  • Postpartum depression

  • Acute illness or hospitalization

  • Financial instability

  • Acute illness or hospitalization
  • Financial instability

  • Domestic violence

  • Domestic violence

  • Drug or alcohol addiction

  • Incarceration of one parent

Dale's Story

On Christmas Day, we received a call from Dale, a single dad, who found himself in a desperate circumstance: he was depressed, unemployed and homeless with his 6-year-old son, Connor. Dale had no support system or church family and realized that living out of his car was not safe for his son. Even though it was hard to ask for help, Dale called Safe Families for Children (SFFC) on Christmas morning.

We sent out the need, and a SFFC host family immediately responded saying they would take Connor. They were headed out to meet family for Christmas, but they could meet Dale and Connor at a gas station on their way. Connor stayed with this family until Dale secured a job and housing. Throughout this stay, Connor's host family built a relationship with Dale and invited him to their church. Dale began attending church with them, and he and Connor still attend today. What could have turned into a tragic crisis, developed into a transformative relationship. Dale said that SFFC completely changed his life, and he is now closer with God and his son than he ever was before. Even though it was hard to be apart from Connor, he was comforted to know his son was in a safe place. He said, "Safe Families for Children saved my life."

Ways to Get Involved 

Can you open your home to a family going through a troubled time? Reach out with God’s love and compassion to embrace those who need help in your community. 

Be A Host Family

Safe Families Host Family Spotlight

Open your home to nurture a child in need as an alternative to foster care.

Be A Safe Family Friend

Safe Families Family Friend Spotlight

Volunteer your time and resources to further the Safe Families for Children cause. 

Be A Safe Family Church

Safe Families Church Spotlight

Integrate Safe Families for Children with your ministry and share SFFC with your congregation.