Bethany Group and BCYF to explore merger

Joint statement

3 December 2021

BCYF (Barwon Child, Youth & Family) and Bethany Group have today announced they are exploring whether their collective expertise and resources could better support the community through a merger of the two organisations.

Mr Chris Bowly, Bethany Community Support Board Chair, and Mr David McDonald, BCYF Board Chair, said the discussions are in the exploration phase and they are about to commence consultations with key stakeholders.

“We are beginning the process by seeking feedback from our staff and the people we support as their insights are crucial to us making a fully informed decision,” Mr Bowly and Mr McDonald said.

Mr Bowly said the merger exploration with BCYF aligns with Bethany’s purpose of working together to meet the changing needs and aspirations of people in their communities. “We are both strong, values driven organisations that have served our communities very well for over 150 years. We also both have a strong commitment to providing the best possible supports and continuously improve our services.”

Mr McDonald said BCYF and Bethany have much in common and the potential impact of bringing the two organisations together also strongly aligns with BCYF’s vision of a community where people are safe, connected, and empowered to live well.

“We know when like-minded organisations come together, it can strengthen services and result in more integrated service delivery and experiences for our clients now and into the future,” Mr McDonald said.

Mr McDonald and Mr Bowly said the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how quickly the needs of people and communities can change and, therefore, the importance of organisations being able to respond to such changes.

“We have seen an increasing demand for the services we provide and the needs of the people we support are becoming more complex and that’s why we are exploring the notion of whether or not a merger of our two organisations could achieve even stronger outcomes for our community, as well as provide a broader range of more connected services.”

“During the merger exploration phase, there will be no change or impact to the delivery of services. Both BCYF and Bethany Group will continue to operate as normal and we would like to remind the community that we are here to support you,” they said.

Both Boards are committed to ensuring that people who use our services, our staff and the community have the opportunity to contribute to the exploration process.

The respective Boards are expected to make a decision on whether to proceed to form one new organisation in the first quarter of 2022. Bethany Group and BCYF will update the community on the outcome.