Wanted: Volunteer 'custodians' to care for immigrant children

Print
Email
|

by MARIE SAAVEDRA

Bio | Email | Follow: @MSaavedraTV

WFAA

Posted on July 14, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 14 at 6:38 PM

DALLAS — As Dallas County awaits the arrival of an estimated 2,000 undocumented children, there are new numbers as to how large this influx of children may be nationwide.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said Monday officials expect a total of 94,000 kids crossing the border in this wave; 85 percent already have family in the U.S. that they'll be released to, but the other 15 percent will not.

Leaders estimate roughly 14,000 kids will need to find foster care nationwide.

But it’s important to note that this isn't foster care as you traditionally think of it. The families who help these children are called "custodians," and there is no state oversight of their care.

It starts with the federal government, which created the Legal Orientation Program for Custodians of Unaccompanied Alien Children in 2010.

After participants fill out an application, the group selects and educates people and families on the ins and outs of immigration court; making sure children appear; that they're going to school; and other details of caring for these unaccompanied minors.

Groups like Catholic Charities serve as a liaison between the government and families, providing a starting point and support during the child's stay.

But there is another difference; Catholic Charities doesn't have the funding to check on these families after they've taken kids in, and there is no money provided to the custodians to help with the costs of their care.

If you are interested in becoming a custodian, visit Catholic Charities Fort Worth or Catholic Charities of Dallas.

E-mail msaavedra@wfaa.com

Print
Email
|