“We’ve seen in the press lately, right, that the conditions that children are living under waiting for appropriate placements. It seems like there is no better time than now -- more urgent time than now to step forward and offer temporary foster care to children in those situations.”
That’s Donna Abbott, head of Refugee and Immigrant Services at Bethany Christian Services. The children the organization is hosting are children who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border .
“Who are usually travelling to the United States to reunite with someone. When you run from a desperate situation you try to run somewhere where there is someone you know.”
About 97% of the children Bethany hosts are reunited with a family member or close family friend, and the average stay has been 60 days.
“Kids are traumatized. They are overwhelmed. Its been a long journey. They are exhausted, they are scared, they are uncertain about how to connect back with their parents if their parents are still available to them or the family member they were seeking. So the foster parent work closely with the case manager to make that connection as quickly as possible for the child.”
Abbott says the organization is currently housing a total of 194 children, and 114 children in Michigan with the average age being 8 years old. Those interested in becoming foster care parents for migrant children can make an inquiry through the Bethany Christian Services website.
Michelle Jokisch Polo, WGVU News.