STATEMENT IN SUPPORT
A.7815 Hevesi — S.6225 Biaggi
AN ACT to amend the social services law, the executive law, the public health law and the judiciary law, in relation to providing for supports and services for unaccompanied minors with no lawful immigration status
The Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies (COFCCA) strongly supports A.7815/S.6225 sponsored by Assemblyman Hevesi and Senator Biaggi which would provide supports and services for unaccompanied minors that are released to a sponsor in New York State.
A number of COFCCA member agencies work with the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to provide care for unaccompanied minors and have done so for a number of years. While in their care, these agencies ensure the health, safety, and well-being of children and youth while working towards reuniting them with a sponsor (most often a family member or close family friend) as quickly as is possible.
Currently, when unaccompanied minors are discharged to a sponsor, there are very limited supports and services available to the sponsor. The reality is that these children and youth have often faced severe trauma and would greatly benefit from access to trauma-informed care as well as social services following their discharge. This bill would establish critical supports and services for children placed with sponsors in New York, and will continue to ensure that New York is a leader in welcoming immigrants to our state.
For these reasons, COFCCA strongly supports A.7815/S.6225 and encourages the Legislature to pass this bill.
For more information about unaccompanied minors (termed “Unaccompanied Alien Children” by the federal government) placed in programs in New York State, please visit our website for an FAQ at: http://www.cofcca.org/orr-faq