Coming Full Circle
The Children’s Village was founded in 1851 to care for children legally removed from their parents, many who were children of the new immigrants of New York City.
Started in 2004, the Unidos por un Sueño (United for a Dream) program provides family reunification and short-term shelter for children who have come to the U.S. without a guardian. Unidos por un Sueño reunites them with family, and provides support for families to help them be successful in the U.S.
The goal is to find a child’s family and, if that isn’t possible, find a suitable sponsor who will care for the child until their immigration hearing. Once we identify the family or sponsor, we visit the family in their home to ensure that it is safe and nurturing. Home Studies are provided to ensure that the adults who step forward to care for unaccompanied children are appropriately qualified and equipped to do so. Once a child leaves, we support the family for at least six months with the goal of supporting their smooth transition to life in the United States while their immigration cases are pending. Bilingual staff provide assistance with school enrollment, health care, social supports and mental health services, legal referrals, and any other issues that arise.
Children live in family-style cottages located on our 180-acre campus. The campus has soccer and softball fields, an indoor swimming pool, a state-of-the-art recreation facility, biking and hiking trails, a 24-hour clinic, a dedicated school, and much more. The newly-renovated two-story cottages have dining rooms, living rooms, play rooms, double and triple bedrooms, and kitchens. Each teens receives immediate medical care, education, recreation, counseling, family reunification, and English language training, as well as services to help them become self-sufficient, acculturated adults.
Read more about our principles of care in The National Council.
Since 2016, we have been offering help to migrant families in the community through a grant from the Office of New Americans. We currently have twelve sites throughout the metropolitan area where we help families adjusting to life in America.
Awards and Acknowledgements for the CV US Program
- Coalition of Latin American Consuls in New York (CLACNY) recognized the US program for its work on behalf of unaccompanied immigrant children.
- US Office of Refugee Resettlement awarded the US program a Certificate of Appreciation for its commitment to tireless support of unaccompanied Haitian orphans during the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake.
The program for migrant children is funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which has contracted with CV since 2004. See the chart at right for how this funding fits into our total budget (click here to see a larger version).
As you can see from the chart, our largest programming area is our community work, which includes intensive support for families at risk of having children or teens removed, mentoring, support for youth leaving foster care, pregnancy prevention and leadership programs in 27 New York City schools, and a community center in Harlem. Our work with migrant children and families represents approximately 20% of our budget and includes both residential programs and family support. The remainder of our budget includes residential care for children in foster care or who have committed minor crimes, including their medical care. For more information on our funding, see the Financials/Accreditations page.
Visitors to the US Program
The program frequently welcomes visitors representing the countries the children come from. For example, the first ladies of Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala visited and met with the children. See photos below for examples of other visitors.