With an estimated 300 immigrant children who were separated from their families at the southern border being sheltered in New York, city officials on Tuesday unveiled a slew of services aimed to help them acclimate.
The majority of the immigrant children, who range in age from infants to teenagers, are in foster homes across the city, where they are receiving education, recreation and health care services during the day, and city agencies are now offering mental health care, trauma training for foster parents and staff working with the kids, legal help, recreational activities and more.
The immigrant children are “resilient, but they’re also frightened, confused and, in some cases, clearly traumatized,” said David A. Hansell, commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services. “While these children are under the care and legal responsibility of the federal government, they are in New York City now, and we are doing everything in our power to make sure they are safe and healthy.”
In addition to the aforementioned services, the agencies will also provide parenting coaching for teen moms who are with infants, weekly field trips to zoos, museums and other city educational and cultural institutions, increased NYPD security at the day facilities and during transportation from the centers to their foster homes and toys and art supplies.
“We have extensive experience working with children in the city’s child welfare system who have experienced trauma, and we’re announcing an array of much-needed services now being provided to those children who were separated as a result of this heartless federal immigration policy,” Hansell said.