March 16, 2021

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington Supports Family Reunification, Helping More Than 200 Displaced Children Achieve and Thrive in Safe Placements Annually

Organization Expands to Resume Work with Legal Residents Seeking Reunification with Children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras Under Reinstated Central American Minors Program

ARLINGTON, Va. - Since 2015, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington's Newcomer Services has worked with state and local partners to provide family reunification to children who have crossed a border into the United States by themselves. In many cases, the displaced children are fleeing violence and extreme poverty and are currently living in temporary government sponsored shelters. Each year, Newcomer Services provides placement and pre- and post-placement services to approximately 200.

“We know our communities and our country are stronger when families are together. Catholic Charities provides expansive, comprehensive services to help reunite these children separated from their families,” said Stephen Carattini, President and CEO, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington. “Most children who come to us have experienced significant trauma, having left their families and home countries to embark on a dangerous journey in search of safe harbor and hope for the future. We provide holistic care and, most importantly, place these children in nurturing homes so they can thrive in a stable, safe and loving environment.”

Newcomer Services provides a wide range of pre- and post-placement family reunification services, including home studies to ensure a safe and nurturing environment, background checks for individuals in a placement home, trauma training as needed, mental health services for the child, assistance with school enrollment and ongoing post-placement assessments. Post-placement assessments take place for three months after the child is placed in a home. For children who have been victims of human trafficking, assessments continue until the child ages out of the program at 18 years of age.

With the recent reinstatement of the Central American Minors (CAM) program, Catholic Charities will also re-open cases it was handling when the program was suspended in 2017. Under CAM, legal residents of the United States with minor children residing in El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras can apply for their children to take up residence with them, protecting them from potential trafficking or victimization in their countries of origin. Families interested in applying for this program can contact Catholic Charities' Migration and Refugee Services at 571-364-8010.

Individuals interesting in donating much needed home, school and personal care items to these families can do so through Amazon Smile at For more information on Catholic Charities work with immigrants and refugees, visit here.

For more information, contact Amber Roseboom, Director of Media Relations, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, at 571-215-8731 or

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Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington serves the poor and vulnerable who live within the 21 counties and seven cities of the Diocese of Arlington, which is led by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge. Catholic Charities provides food for the hungry, a free medical clinic for adults including prenatal care, adoption services, transformational housing for the homeless, mental health counseling, emergency financial assistance, prison ministry, workforce development and immigration and refugee services. Catholic Charities serves all, regardless of