PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — A well-known professing Christian charity has agreed to work with homosexuals seeking to foster or adopt children after its contract with the City of Philadelphia was suspended for a time due to its policies on child placement.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Bethany Christian Services of Greater Delaware Valley has agreed to comply with the City’s nondiscrimination laws and has partnered with Mayor Jim Kenney’s Office of LGBT Affairs to train staff regarding “cultural competency for serving individuals and same-sex couples who are LGBTQ.”
“Our faith calls us to work with vulnerable children and families, and therefore, it is important that Christians remain in this space,” Bethany Christian Services said in a statement. “To that end, while we will remain compliant with the law, we also remain committed to our Christian beliefs and core values.”
When asked by the Christian Post if the organization will indeed place children in the homes of homosexuals, it replied, “As the statement addresses, Bethany of Greater Delaware Valley will comply with the law.” It did not explain how it would do so without violating the organization’s stated Christian values.
On a corporate level, Bethany Christian Services is led by Chris Palusky, who formerly served in a leadership capacity at World Vision, and also has been involved with Samaritan’s Purse, CARE and World Relief.
Palusky began serving as president of Bethany Christian Services in January, a position that according to a 990 form posted online, paid his predecessor over $230,000 a year. He lists Rob Bell, Rick Warren, Coldplay, The Police, Sting and U2 among his likes on social media. Under his “religious views” section, he provides a link to a message from Rob Bell. Palusky also characterizes his political views as being in the “center.”
Christian News Network reached out to Palusky about the policy change allowing the placements; a response was not received by press time.
As previously reported, following the release of an article earlier this year by The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Department of Human Services decided to suspend its partnerships with Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Social Services after learning that the organizations do not place children with homosexuals. The suspension and investigation meant that the groups were unable to help place children who are in government custody until the contracts were reinstated.
The outlet had shared the report of two lesbians, who said that they had approached Bethany Christian Services in October and were advised that the organization had never placed a child in a same-sex home. The representative rather offered the women referrals to others who might do so.
In reporting on the occurrence, The Philadelphia Inquirer decided to also reach out to Catholic Social Services to ask about its practices, and was informed that the entity likewise doesn’t place children with two men or two women. The organization has never been approached by anyone in a same-sex relationship, the representative noted.
Both organizations were consequently placed under investigation and further placements of any kind were halted. Philadelphia City Council also passed a resolution to look into the Department of Human Services’ policy on working with agencies that decline to place children with homosexuals.
Catholic Social Services has since sued the City of Philadelphia over the matter, and still refuses to bend, while Bethany Christian Services decided to change its policies to conform to the City’s nondiscrimination ordinance in order to resume the partnership.
“We appreciate the city’s decision to allow Bethany Christian Services of Greater Delaware Valley to continue to serve foster youth throughout the Philadelphia community,” the organization said. “We have a long-standing history of partnering with government and secular organizations to aid children in crisis, and we look forward to continuing our nearly 20 year partnership with the city.”
Proverbs 25:26 reads, “A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain and a corrupt spring.”