BCC Launches Caminos Nacional to Assist At-Risk Youth

BCC Launches Caminos Nacional to Assist At-Risk Youth

For Immediate Release: May 8, 2020
Contact: Kristian Sekse
Email: ksekse@boardofchildcare.org
Phone: 443.845.4395

(Baltimore, MD)—The Board of Child Care of the United Methodist Church, Inc. (BCC) announced today that it has been awarded a $6.9 million Federal grant to provide fifty (50) residential beds for children who enter the United States but who are without a guardian. This population is commonly referred to as “unaccompanied children.” The grant is funded by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Delivering this service helps BCC fulfill its purpose: enriching communities, one family at a time.

Unaccompanied children are at significant risk of exploitation, including human trafficking. ORR partners with residential providers, like BCC, to deliver best practice and trauma informed child welfare services. Some of these services include temporary shelter, education, medical and mental health care, and, most importantly, vetting of a suitable sponsor or foster care placement for the child. The child will live at BCC for a short period of time but will remain with their sponsor (or in a Federal foster care placement) while they await their immigration court date to make their immigration case.

BCC calls this program, “Caminos,” which is the Spanish word for “journey.” As an organization BCC has been running Caminos since 2014. Caminos Nacional utilizes the skills developed delivering the program and extends it reach by providing guidance, consultation and grant management to accredited partner organizations so that they may also offer the Caminos service to these at-risk children.

BCC’s Caminos Nacional program will bring Cunningham Children’s Home of Urbana Illinois (CCH, cunninghamhome.org) and Florida United Methodist Children’s Home (FUMCH, fumch.org) in partnership with BCC. This is the first time BCC is serving as a consultant and grant manager.

“BCC’s purpose is to enrich communities, one family at a time. The partnership with CCH and FUMCH was made possible by our mutual involvement in the United Methodist Association (ouruma.org) and we are all thankful for our faith-based network! Caminos Nacional will give us the opportunity to share our therapeutic best practices with each other, which ultimately benefits everyone in our respective communities,” said Laurie Anne Spagnola, BCC’s President, and CEO. “It’s truly an incredible example of our purpose statement in action. I know we’ll learn a lot from each other and emerge stronger from working together.”

The Board of Child Care is a private, 501(c)3 nonprofit, which has been serving youth and their families across the Mid-Atlantic for over 130 years. With over 800 staff and an annual budget around $43 million, its programing continuum includes behavioral health, residential treatment, and educational services.

For more information, please email ksekse@boardofchildcare.org.