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.
PARENTING RESOURCE CENTER
Navigating an unexpected pregnancy and raising children as a single mother in poverty are great challenges that many women we help face. Catholic Guardian Services has a long history of helping women in need and providing concrete support to mothers and children, as well as vital parenting education to ensure safer pregnancies, healthier infants and children, and stronger families.
At our Parenting Resource Center, young mothers have access to free parenting classes that teach them how to care for themselves during pregnancy, feed and care for a newborn, have appropriate expectations of child development, deal with the stresses of parenthood, and make their families stronger. We also provide pre- and post-natal care, counseling for women in crisis pregnancies.
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.
As you have seen on the news, thousands of immigrant children have been separated from their families and dispersed around the country. Many of these children were sent to New York and placed in temporary care while their parents were placed in federal custody.
Catholic Guardian Services is one of the agencies that are helping these children, by providing them with safe and supportive home-like settings where they can go to school, eat nutritious food, have clean clothes and receive medical care and counseling.
To date, we have worked with numerous separated children, and are working with other agencies to help reunite them with their families and provide legal support.