Q & A

Q & A

How much of my money reaches the child I support?

Bethesda Children’s Foundation expenses are currently met by the directors so all of your money reaches the children's home. We do not expect this to change significantly in the future but if it does, we will, of course let you know.

Why do you select a child for me?

All our children will have only one sponsor. The sponsor will not share their sponsor child with another. So, we select a child for you to avoid two or more sponsors selecting the same child.

Can I write personally to the child?

We're still seeking and praying for sponsors for all the children in the home. Children who don't have sponsors might feel less important or special than those who do. Because of this the children themselves don't know whether they are being sponsored. If visiting the home we ask that sponsors don't treat the child they're sponsoring differently and don't identify themselves as the sponsor.

What happens if my child leaves the home?

We receive a list of children at least once a year and keep our records in step as best we can. If the child you are sponsoring moves on from the home we will be in touch to let you know how they are doing and ask whether you'd like to start supporting another child.

Sometimes children continue to be supported by Bethesda Mission Trust if they continue in eduction after 18 - if this is the case we will contact you to see whether you'd like to continue supporting them, or would rather start sponsoring a younger child.

Isn't it better for children to be nurtured in families?

Yes! JK Rowling founded a charity Lumos with the aim "all children will grow up in loving, nurturing, protective families by 2050" - and there will be no more need for orphanages. We've talked to Sam and the India team about their approach and the way the children come into the home in Metty.

The children who are cared for by Bethesda have come from family situations where they are not being cared for. They have been judged by the Indian Social Care Authority to be at risk, and need to be looked after away from the family. Other possibilities like being cared for by extended family are considered before they reach this stage.

Once welcomed into the home the welfare of the children is carefully monitored by the authorities through weekly reports (which take a lot of time for the Bethesda staff to prepare) and regular visits. Following a surprise visit in 2019 the inspectors judged the Bethesda home to be the best in the district!

A committee of representatives of the children meets weekly to discuss ideas and issues that are collected from all the children. They are encouraged to maintain contact with their family and they can return if the authorities judge the situation to have improved enough.

Culture and infrastructure to allow for more fostering or adoption to families does not seem to be present in south India at the moment, we can pray that the situation moves towards this. For now the Bethesda home represents the best chance these children have for a happy, healthy, supported, loving environment - and this judged by the Indian government authorities, which is not aligned with Christianity.

How is the chilren's welfare protected?

For our UK charity, any BCF trustee visiting the home will have a DBS check verified by the BCF Safeguarding Officer.

We will review the safeguarding policies and procedures in place for Bethesda home at least every two years. The BCF Safeguarding Officer, who is a qualified psychotherapist specialising in child wellbeing, thoroughly reviewed the safeguarding procedures in place at the home during a visit in July 2023.

The home is inspected regularly by the Indian authorities to ensure safeguarding, fire safety, food and hygiene, education and buildings meet the required standards for the children's welfare. Staff make weekly reports on the children's welfare to the Indian authorities Staff are checked against an offenders' register and need to regularly re-register with the authorities. Children can raise concerns to the India social care authority via an on-site postbox that the Bethesda Mission staff do not have access to. A committee of representatives of the children meets weekly to discuss ideas and issues that are collected from all the children.