Kevin Carrothers is spending lots of time getting to know the staff at Baptist Children’s Home and Family Services—but he isn’t the only one. Of 33 staff members at BCHFS, 22 are either new employees or new in their current positions within the last year.
“There’s a big learning curve for people like myself who have just started,” Carrothers told the IBSA staff in a February meeting. Carrothers joined BCHFS as executive director January 1, after a search of more than a year for a replacement for Denny Hydrick, who returned to a position in his native Mississippi.
“It does feel like a new day for the Children’s Home,” Carrothers said. “We’ve added more team meetings because we don’t know each other.”
With so many people in new roles, there’s “a lot of learning, and also a lot of patience,” he said. “And there’ll be some bumps along the way.”
Carrothers knew his ministry at the 105-year-old Illinois Baptist agency would be about rebuilding at first. Filling vacant staff positions was high on the list, and Carrothers continues to search for two development officers and houseparents. But with 13 counselors serving 14 locations, he reported that counseling sessions have returned to the record high levels of 2015-16. The girls’ cottage is full once again. Carrothers said he is cautiously optimistic that they may be able to open a second cottage later this year.
With the ongoing ministry of GraceHaven Pregnancy Resource Clinic in Mt. Vernon, and developments following the 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade, Carrothers anticipates BCHFS will become “a more proactive voice for sanctity of life issues” and for pregnant women considering the future of their unborn children.
Carrothers urged Illinois Baptists to pray for BCHFS, for its financial support and discernment for the staff as they seek to serve children and families in emotional need.