The Children’s Village President and CEO Dr. Jeremy Kohomban testified before the NYC Council’s Committee on Juvenile Justice on September 21. Citing research and frontline experience, his testimony highlighted the critical need for family engagement to the long-term success of youth involved with the justice system. Dr. Kohomban concluded with three specific recommendations. More Info
Division of Immigration Services
The Children’s Village is an agency that has served immigrant youth for more than 150 years. The Agency’s founding mission in 1851 was to shelter the orphaned and immigrant children roaming the streets of New York City. The Division of Immigrantion Services brings CV full circle.
Funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, CV’s immigration programs include short-term shelters, foster homes, and support for children who have come to the U.S. without a guardian. CV provides these children, who are often at risk of exploitation, a safe place to live that is nurturing and culturally-responsive. Youth are reunited with family members or, when that is not possible, returned safely to their home countries.
As part of the Division of Immigration Services, Children’s Village operates a Transitional Residence for Alien Children (TRAC). Children are referred to the TRAC Program by the Office of Refugee Resettlement while they are awaiting disposition of their refugee status. They are cared for in the transitional home until they are released from custody by ORR or returned to their home country by the State Department. Until recently, these children were held in the custody of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, but lawsuits over INS treatment of these children prompted lawmakers to transfer custody to the ORR as part of the Homeland Security Act of 2002.
The CV TRAC Program is operated in a protective family-like and nurturing environment, encouraging emotional, intellectual, social, and physical growth. Services for the children include education, recreation, medical care, counseling, family reunification, and English language training, as well as other services to help them become self-sufficient, acculturated adults. The program provides shelter for approximately 210 boys and girls in 16 cottages on our Dobbs Ferry campus. In addition to the on-campus facilities, we have the capacity in our Post-Release and Home Study programs for up to 305 youth to maintain safe and stable placements with a sponsor until they reach age 18 or a final disposition of their immigration case results in removal from the U.S.
Consul General Francisco Lobo of Honduras says, “The staff takes interest in every child in the program and ensures the youth’s safety throughout their superb educational, recreational, and medical services.”
Awards and Acknowledgements for the CV TRAC Program:
Coalition of Latin American Consuls in New York (CLACNY) recognized TRAC for its work on behalf of unaccompanied immigrant children (October 2013).
US Office of Refugee Resettlement awarded TRAC a Certificate of Appreciation for its “commitment to tireless support of unaccompanied Haitian orphans during the aftermath of the earthquake” (April 2011).
The CV TRAC Program has welcomed many important visitors:
Ambassador Carlos Enrique Garcia Gonzalez, Permanent Representative of El Salvador to the United Nations visited along with staff from the Consulate of El Salvador in New York.
The Coalition of Latin American Consuls in New York (CLACNY) held its meeting at CV.
Consul General Myriam De la Roca of the Consulate of Guatemala in New York visited with the TRAC staff and children.
Ambassador Sandra Fuentes-Berain of the Consulate of Mexico in New York met with the youth from Mexico during her visit to the TRAC Program.
Mark Greenberg, Acting Assistant Secretary of Administration for Children and Families, US Department of Health & Human Services
Consul General Hector Manuel Monroy Chavarria of the Consulate of Honduras spent the day learning more about the Honduran children in our program.
First Lady Ana Garcia de Hernandez of Honduras met with Honduran staff and children before touring the facility.