Many individuals have contacted WOLA asking what is being done to help respond to the urgent needs of unaccompanied children and families from Central America. To complement WOLA’s targeted advocacy on this issue, we have compiled a list of organizations working to help these children, including social service providers, legal aid resources, and national networks across the United States currently involved in the humanitarian and child protection response.
- The social services provided by the agencies listed below include: child protection assessments, case management, home studies, family reunification and post-release services, transitional shelters for children and families and specialized foster care. The majority of the organizations listed maintain national networks of affiliate agencies, many of which have additional needs for material donations and volunteers at the local level.
- The legal aid resources included provide links to local affiliates throughout the United States who give “know your rights” orientations to children and families prior to court appearance, individual legal screenings, Pro Bono assistance, referrals and representation, and coordinated services that link detention facility caseworkers, child welfare practitioners, and immigration authorities on unaccompanied children’s issues.
- The international organizations providing services in Central America are divided first by topic, and then by location.
Social Service Providers:
- Migration and Refugee Services/USCCB: Providing Safe Passage to Unaccompanied Children from Central America
- Catholic Charities USA
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service: See also their recent blog detailing five ways to support children and families.
- U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI)
- Save the Children
- Heartland Alliance
- Baptist Children and Family Services (BCFS)
- World Vision (U.S.)
- Church World Services
- South Texas Human Rights Center
- Catholic Diocese of Brownsville
Legal Aid Providers:
- American Immigration Lawyers Association
- Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
- Catholic Legal Immigration: See also their post on ten ways to welcome children at the U.S. border.
- Vera Institute
- American Bar Association
Youth Violence Prevention and Youth Employment:
- The Central American Coalition for Youth Violence Prevention (Central America)
- Catholic Relief Services, Youth Builders Program (Central America)
- International Youth Foundation (IYF) (Mexico)
- Heartland Alliance (Mexico)
Child Protection/Children’s Services:
- Casa Alianza
- KIND – Guatemalan Child Return and Reintegration Program
- Save the Children
- World Vision
- Plan International
Migrant Rights, Protection, and Services:
- Pastoral de Movilidad Humana – Honduras (National Migration Pastoral, Center for Returned Migrants)
- Pastoral de Movilidad Humana – Guatemala (National Migration Pastoral, Episcopal Conference of Guatemala)
- COFAMIDE – Comité de Familiares de Migrantes Fallecidos y Desaparecidos de El Salvador (Families of the deceased and disappeared migrants of El Salvador)
- SMR Scalabrinianas: Mision para Migrantes y Refugiados. For more information, email [email protected].
- Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Matias de Cordova (Mexico)
- Sin Fronteras (Mexico)
- Jesuit Migration Services (Mexico)
- Kino Border Initiative (Mexico)
- Saltillo Migrant Center (Mexico)
Poverty Reduction and Rural Development:
Religious communities in the United States have been vocal in expressing support for these children. To read recent statements issued by different religious groups, please click here.