As you may know, Joint Council has participated in Haiti’s child welfare system since 2003, but following the January 2010 earthquake, we significantly stepped up our efforts on behalf of Haitian children. Together with our partner organizations, we served over 45,000 children and families through programs at hospitals, medical clinics, child care centers, and adoption and food distribution programs. Specifically, we
- Coordinated the emergency aid to orphanages and other institutions,
- Created a database used to identify children, families, emergency relief needs and permanency options,
- Directly educated and informed over 51,000 individuals, adoptive families and professionals,
- Assisted with the development, coordination and implementation of the USCIS Humanitarian Parole Program for children.
Following the earthquake it has become increasingly clear that our partners (many of them small NGOs) need leadership from an organization that works on a spectrum of services to children — the kind of leadership Joint Council can provide. However, in the 23 months since the disaster, a lack of funds has forced us to decrease our efforts in Haiti.