FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICES
At Catholic Guardian Services, we strive to help families in need and protect children at risk by reaching out to them before they are in the Child Welfare system. Our Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention services and other programs for families help struggling families find solutions to difficult circumstances and grow closer.
CGS participates in Healthy Families New York, a child safety program that also strengthens families, and in “Bridges to Health”, a waiver program that provides at-risk and low-income families with health care services for children.
In the wake of the crisis of so many migrant children coming from Central America and Mexico alone, CGS developed a program for unaccompanied minors to provide shelter, care and safety to them while we work to reunite them with family members or find kin who can care for them.
Unaccompanied minors program
Catholic Guardian Services (CGS) provides shelter and care for unaccompanied minor children from foreign countries through a partnership with the Federal Office of Refugee Resettlement Program. The numbers of unaccompanied minors in our care has been growing rapidly in recent years. Many of these minors are sent to the United States by their families to escape abuse in the form of persecution, human trafficking, gangs and forced labor and most come from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
CGS provides shelter for up to 44 unaccompanied minors in our group shelters and transitional foster boarding homes. These youth and children are not U.S. citizens and have been apprehended by immigration officials or other authorities while traveling alone, or without an adult. These youth and children are in the care of CGS for usually 30-60 days during which we attempt to locate a “sponsor” – typically a parent, family member, or family friend – with whom the child can live pending the final outcome of legal proceedings involving their immigration status. Most of these children come into the country with the name and address of someone with whom they are trying to reunite. CGS counselors are trained in interviewing techniques to determine if trafficking is an issue in each case.