August 4, 2014
My apologies for a late Mission Moment, but Good Shepherd has been without e-mail and internet all day. Now I’m home.
My message this evening is aimed at providing a bit of clarity regarding any potential role Good Shepherd may play in carrying for immigrant youth who have been coming into the United States by the tens of thousands in recent months. As you may have heard in the news, Catholic Charities is in the midst of responding to a federal request for proposals aimed at securing residential care for immigrant youth in need of shelter and care while awaiting unification with family here in U.S. If successful, Marygrove would be the lead care agency, given their overall number of beds, as well as the breadth of their residential array. I have reminded Catholic Charities of the pending availability of our Maternity building (should it be needed), as well as our willingness to provide needed care for any immigrant youth who happen to be pregnant or parenting. In addition, Good Shepherd is uniquely equipped to play an active role in caring for youth in family homes, to the extent that federal authorities eventually determine that care in foster homes is a viable option. Given that we are the only licensed child placing agency within the Catholic Charities federation, this would be something that only Good Shepherd could do (i.e., recruit, train, and license foster homes—as well as provide care and monitoring for youth placed in those homes). The situation is extraordinarily complex, legally as well as socially. To the extent that Good Shepherd can provide care for these youth is such desperate need, we are committed to doing so. Such work is entirely consistent with our mission, as well as with the Catholic social teachings that inform our agency values. Naturally, I will fill you in as the situation develops.