Dear Community Partners,
Catholic Charities is pleased to host an Unaccompanied Children Service Providers Workshop on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015, from 1-4:30pm. Over the last year, as most of you are well aware, conversations have taken place across the city in multiple forums with over 100 known stakeholders to find ways to meet the needs of the Central American immigrant children who have crossed the border unaccompanied by family or an adult caregiver. We are inspired by these conversations and the commitment to collaboration already in progress. As such, this will be an opportunity to build an inclusive framework for defining our goals as a community and engaging in concrete problem-solving to strengthen all of our work with these children and families moving forward.
The workshop will be held at San Martin Hall (behind the offices for Catholic Charities Immigration and Refugee Services Office) at 2505 Maine Avenue, Metairie, LA 70003.
The specific goals of the workshop are:
1. Inclusion – To bring everyone to the table for a conversation with all relevant stakeholders across sectors/social service areas, where everyone’s voice can be heard;
2. Resource Mapping – To verify and finalize the work that many have started to consolidate an updated resource list of social service providers working with unaccompanied children (organized by sector, and complete with information on eligibility requirements, language capacity, and cost of services, etc);
3. Coordination & Action – To choose as a community our top priorities to meet the needs of unaccompanied children, and set up a framework for ongoing collaboration and accountability for our goals.
We value your time, and know that there have been a lot of meetings about this topic. The workshop will be very hands-on, with breakout sessions, and practical exercises to move us forward with our action plan.
We are welcoming stakeholders in the following sectors to register for the Workshop:
· Mental Health & Psychosocial support (counseling, peer/family/community support, substance abuse, DV etc.)
· Health, Special needs, & Disabilities
· Education & After school programming, youth empowerment & mentorship
· Law enforcement/Security, (DV, disciplinary issues, criminal/delinquency issues, relationship with law enforcement/government)
· Access to social/public services (public assistance, transit, food banks, community integration, housing/shelter, etc.)
· Community organizing & education
· Advocacy & Legal support (non-immigration)—to join each table (i.e. legal education, school disciplinary hearings, impact litigation, immigrant rights, etc.)
For your reference, please see attached list of invitees. If you have additional suggestions, please contact Nellie Catzen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that in an effort to avoid duplication of the work already being done by the Louisiana Working Group on Pro Bono Immigration Representation, this workshop will include lawyers and legal advocates who may provide litigation support and legal counsel/advocacy in a non-immigration related context.
The online registration will ask you for some simple information about your services so that we can start the mapping work together in advance and hit the ground running. To save you all time and avoid duplication, we’re asking that you submit only one registration form per organization, including all of the essential stakeholders from your organization who will attend. If your organization cannot attend, but would like to provide information on your organization for the resource mapping, please email email@example.com to request an alternate google form link.
To ensure that the workshop is both efficient and productive, registrants will receive additional information and opportunities to contribute to workshop content several weeks prior to the workshop.
Thank you all for the incredible work you do every day to serve the community and the unaccompanied children. We hope to see you at the workshop on September 2nd.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns, ideas, or comments you may have!
Penelope (Nellie) Catzen
Special Projects Coordinator
Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans
1000 Howard Ave, Suite 200
New Orleans, LA 70113
c: (504) 756-2812
o: (504) 310-6921