First Lady of Honduras Guest at Cayuga Centers’ NYC Program
Oct 07, 2015
NYC, NY – Cayuga Centers welcomed First Lady of Honduras, Ana García de Hernández, to tour the agency’s Unaccompanied Children Foster Care program in New York City. The First Lady met with staff and foster parents providing short term foster care to Unaccompanied Children (UC) awaiting reunification with family or legal proceedings. Unaccompanied children are minors seeking refuge in the United States, and Cayuga Centers has placed children from newborns to 17 years of age with foster parents in its UC Program.
Awarded through the US Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), Cayuga Centers originally received $8.3 million to begin the program Spring 2014 to open 300 foster care beds. The grant has grown to reach $27 million in fiscal year 2016, funding 396 beds. The agency has served close to 1,000 children since June 2014. According to ORR, Cayuga Centers offers the largest transitional foster care program serving these children.
“We have provided foster care programs throughout New York State, and believed strongly that it was the right program to meet the needs of unaccompanied children,” states Edward Myers Hayes, Cayuga Centers President and CEO. “We felt matching these children with highly trained, Spanish speaking adults would meet their health and emotional needs. With a bi-lingual staff of 160 and several locations in South Harlem and the Bronx, these children attend school, receive care and support throughout the process of reunification. And they are living in a family home, in their own bed. We are extremely proud of our work, and to have First Lady Hernández visit.”
The first lady was invited to tour the facility to see firsthand how unique the program is. The First Lady met many of the foster parents and children currently in placement. She also drew an outline of her hand to be placed on the Agency’s Tree of Life which is made of hand outlines of the children served by the program.
First Lady Hernández was extremely pleased to see the children and meet the staff. “Thank you for your great work with our children. I see them very happy and I know they are going to be OK in this country. Thank you for the love you give them. It makes such a difference for them to be in a home.”
Cayuga Centers, headquartered in Auburn, NY, serves children and families throughout New York State and Southeastern Florida, offering a variety of evidence-based programs, residential and foster care treatment programs, Community-Based Interventions and Services for People with Developmental Disabilities.