Statement on Immigrant Children

06.21.2018


Noank Community Support Services, Inc. is a 501C non-profit organization that services those in need in a variety of ways, including adults with chronic mental illness, young adults that are homeless and children in foster care.  We have offered culturally sensitive, trauma-informed and gender-responsive services for over 46 years. One of our many services, for which we received a HHS grant, is a shelter for Unaccompanied Alien Children under age 18.  We provide a safe, family-like environment for up to 12 children to stay, while we locate sponsors, who are usually family, for them.  It usually takes us approximately 4-6 weeks to reunify them with family.  We have a clinician, case managers, nurse and a teacher on staff, as well as partners in the community who provide medical care as needed.  These children have left their countries due to severe threats and violence from drug lords- to them, to the babies of teenage mothers or to their family.  They have witnessed murders and other atrocities that no child should ever experience.  Their journeys to the U.S. have been long, traumatic and dangerous.  They are simply trying to survive.  They are sent to us after processing at the border.  We mostly have housed teenagers, some with their babies and some sibling pairs whose parents have been murdered. They often have some family contacts in the US that we are able to connect them with.  Ours is a safe and caring environment for them.  They are often able to relax, play and have fun with us for the first time in a long time.  We help them to process their trauma histories.  Many have never received education or only limited schooling and are very excited to learn.  We accompany the children to court in their appeal to seek asylum, and have legal partners who represent them.  The children enjoy being with us and at times keep in contact after discharge. Our grant covers some of our operating costs and we rely on donations as well. Our mission statement is: Improving Lives, fostering self-reliance and providing hope for the future through individualized service and access to resources of the larger community.

We are unable to disclose the location of our services for these children out of respect for them and for their safety.  We are also not able to speak about specific children for privacy reasons.  General questions about our agency can be directed to rmoller@noankcss.org or other questions about the program of HHS may be directed to Media@acf.hhs.gov

 

Regina Moller

Executive Director