Delivering services to unaccompanied immigrant children through the Office of Refugee Resettlement
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HELPING THEM ON THEIR JOURNEY...
Cunningham's responsibility with Caminos is to serve young people temporarily while they are going through immigration court and awaiting placement with family members, sponsors or foster parents currently living in the United States.
The paths that lead youth to Cunningham Children's Home are all different. Our job as a child welfare provider is to provide a safe environment and to be caring, stable adults in the lives of these young people while they are with us. Our hope is that when they leave us, we have guided them to the next step in their lives surrounded by strong, healthy family and community connections.
In alignment with our vision to see every child thrive, Cunningham Children’s Home is delivering services to a new population of children who need help. We call this program Caminos, which is the Spanish word for journey.
The Caminos program provides safe secure placement options for children who have recently migrated to the United States and are seeking opportunities for reunification with family as well as the chance to pursue their legal immigration case. They are young and vulnerable, made the hazardous journey from their home countries alone facing exploitation, abuse and human trafficking, and now have been placed into Cunningham’s care.
This program will be operated through a relationship with two entities: Board of Child Care (BCC) and the Federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). BCC is very similar to Cunningham in that its history and organizational core values are rooted in the United Methodist faith. Similar to Cunningham’s beginnings with what is now the United Methodist Women, BCC began as three United Methodist orphanages in the late 19th and early 20th century. Today, BCC is an independent 501(c)3 not-for-profit that provides behavioral health, educational, and residential services across the Mid-Atlantic (boardofchildcare.org).
ORR is a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and has responsibility for the care and placement of unaccompanied children who are taken into custody by border patrol officials.
In providing care and placement, Cunningham provides a wide range of culturally responsive services for Caminos Program youth until they are united with an approved, vetted sponsor. Often times, sponsors are parents, family members or close family friends that are living in the United States. Cunningham staff work collaboratively with ORR to assess the sponsors and ensure that they are safe placement options for the Caminos program youth.
Additionally, Cunningham is committed to delivering services that are ethical, effective and incorporate trauma responsive practice to assist the youth in their healing and acculturation processes.
What we will have are young people who arrive to Cunningham frightened at the new country they are in. Help us meet the needs of these vulnerable children. Join our team at Cunningham Children's Home. Visit our employment opportunities.
BCC Launches Caminos Nacional to Assist At-Risk Youth