That’s what Catholic Charities in San Jose (http://www.ccsj.org) is seeking for the first-ever program in California that will train couples to serve as foster parents to young refugees, coming alone to the United States.
“This is a concrete, hands-on way to put your faith into action,” Sr. Marilyn Lacey, director of refugee services at Catholic Charities, told Mercury News.
Catholic Charities is one of only two social service agencies, licensed by the U.S. government, to help resettle refugee minors through a federally funded program, called Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Project.
The program has been operating in a number of cities across the country since 1979, but it has only just begun in the state of California.
Over the years, children from war-torn and destitute countries have been matched with adoptive families in the U.S.
Families help the teens start their new lives and care for them until they are 18 years old. They receive a monthly stipend of about $750 and are supported of a team of social workers, teachers and doctors.
This support is vital since many of these youth have a difficult time in school and adjusting to the way of life here. Many have also been marked by the war and violence they witnessed in their home countries.
In recent weeks, coordinators of the San Jose program held informational sessions with potential foster parents. Two more sessions are scheduled next month. Coordinators hope to attract about 10 to 20 families.
For more information, contact your local Catholic Charities: http://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/