For Covenant House in Latin America, family reintegration and support services is about helping to make families whole, so children, adolescents, and youth can avoid having to leave their homes or, if they do feel compelled to leave, can, ultimately, return safely to a supportive and loving environment.
This means supporting both the child or adolescent and their family, whether or not the youth is a Covenant House resident, with frequent family visits and post-reintegration support.
We work with the young person to understand the situation they’re coming from and its impact on their physical, mental, and emotional health. Then we focus on the best ways to meet their immediate needs for safety and healing.
We also work with the parents to help them better understand the rights and needs of the child or youth. Is the parent sacrificing a child’s right to education, sending them to work instead of to school? Does a parent need support dealing constructively and compassionately with conflict? Is there enough food in the home?
Whenever the home is safe, family reintegration is our goal. Our family support workshops and our accompaniment of children, adolescents, and youth, in our residence or theirs, are focused on building stronger families of unconditional love and absolute respect.
We recognize, though, that there may be situations in the home or the community that make reintegration unsafe. In that case, a young person is welcome to join our residence and remain at Covenant House until age 18. We will continue to wrap them in love and support while they develop their skills, talents, interests, and a pathway to sustainable independence through education and vocational training.