Caminos® Program: Providing Safe, Supportive Spaces for Recently Migrated Youth

The Caminos® program provides safe, secure placement options for children who have recently migrated to the United States and are seeking opportunities for reunification with family, as well as the chance to pursue their education and legal immigration cases.

  • Short-Term Shelter Care
  • Long-Term Foster Care
  • Home Study/Post Release Services

According to the US Customs and Border Patrol, the agency encountered more than 152,000 unaccompanied minors at the southern US border in fiscal vear 2022 (FY2022), an all-time high. These children travel to the US, seeking a safer future, away from the violence, economic instability, environmental challenges, and other hardships they face in their home countries. Upon their arrival. there are few resources available that would give them the support and guidance they needed to reunite with family and integrate into American society. Everstand saw an opportunity to respond to the needs in the communities that we serve – places rich with diversity supported by immigrant and recently migrated populations- and the Caminos® Program was born.

“I am thrilled that as an organization, we stepped into that space to provide those services. And [we] did it not knowing how much of a need would come over the decade. We have now been serving the population: there was a tremendous need in 2014 and that need has only multiplied over the past 9 or 10 years” said Kelly Berger the Executive Director of Caminos® Programs.

Unfortunately, the need for such a program continues to grow as children flee their countries, driven by fear and the inability to feel safe.

The Caminos® Program provides short-term shelter care, long-term foster care, and home study/post-release services, designed to facilitate safe, secure placement options for children who have recently migrated to the United States and are seeking opportunities for reunification with family, as well as the chance to pursue their education and legal immigration cases. One of the most important aspects of the program is consistency and the relationship and trust that Caminos® Program staff can develop with the children in the program’s care.

Beyond providing these children with a place to live, the Caminos® Program is designed to ensure that recently migrated youth can acclimate to the cultural differences of the United States. “I think the greatest need is really acclimating them into society in the United States. I think many times, cultural differences would entail language barriers, how we celebrate holidays, our verbal and nonverbal gestures, and communication skills. I think, while respecting where these youth come from it’s also very important to teach them what could be respectful or disrespectful in the United States, said Jordan Jones, Program Director for Caminos West (Pennsylvania and West Virginia).

As Jordan recounted, much of the program staff are either immigrants or first-generation Americans themselves, so they are all extremely committed to the mission. As a child, Yefri Moya Gamez, a Case Aide on the Case Management team for the Everstand Baltimore Shelter program, immigrated to the US alone. “When I first applied for this [role with Everstand], I had already been through what the kids are going through right now. So, I’m driven just to try to help and share my experience with the youth. I explain to them if they stay focused in school and you learn English, they will do something here and have more opportunities here than back in our countries. So that motivated me to work here” explained Yefri.

With everything that the Caminos® Program does, it is designed to ensure that these children do not feel alone “It’s a care plan to help them. It’s not like we’re just getting them in and we’re just reuniting them but they have a plan, not just for reunification, but we’re setting them up for success – whether it is with the sponsor, making sure that the home is safe, making sure that the home is appropriate, or making sure that they have access to transportation and school. We’re not just shell-shocking them but taking them along the journey. They’re never blindsided; we don’t keep anything from them, but we very therapeuticallv aproach them in their situation.” said Sharnett Kelly, Program Director, Caminos® (Maryland).

The Caminos® Program also offers unique services to the children it serves “We also have two therapists in-house, which is my first experience working in a program where we actually provide [therapy] to our clients in the community, which is amazing. These kids get therapy once a week-in their house or at Starbucks or on a basketball court – just to process the trauma and the violence that made them leave their countries. It’s called peri-migration trauma.” explained Michael Lynch, the Assistant Program Director for Caminos® Home Study/Post-Release Services.

Ultimately, the Caminos® Program is not just about providing recently migrated youth with a place to stay but placing them in a supportive, compassionate environment that can enable them to thrive despite the trauma and hardships they have faced. Everstand scales this work through the Caminos Nacional program, which utilizes the skills developed by Everstand in delivering the program and extends its reach by providing guidance, consultation, and grant management to accredited partner organizations so that they may also offer the Caminos service to these at-risk children.

“I think that a huge goal, for me, would be to establish ourselves as a stronger federal partner outside of just the Subgrantee relationship. I think we have the capacity to provide technical assistance at a national level on standards for training in this type of programming, especially in some of the areas that we already operate in, and balancing state licensing regulations. So, I think that there’s an opportunity to create an Everstand Caminos® online resource center or technical assistance platform that could be branded for Caminos® and used outside of our network to further increase our impact” concluded Emily Claure, the Program Director for Caminos® Nacional.

Read more from Caminos® Program: Providing Safe, Supportive Spaces for Recently Migrated Youth

Choose Kindness

The BCC Compass – Dec 2023


If I tell you that you can change the world, would you believe me? Believe it. It’s simple but can be a challenge: it’s to choose kindness.

As the Director of Spiritual Life, I’ve challenged everyone at BCC to perform Random Acts of Kindness during the next 30 days. Intentional kindness is not only good for the spirit of the one receiving the act, but also the one performing it.

Care to join us? (the list is below)

We encourage everyone at BCC to live with Joy and Purpose. Having a purpose is the essence of humanity and it is the idea and belief that we are part of something greater than ourselves. This can manifest in many ways big and small.  Just like you’ll see on the challenge list!

BCC is fortunate to have people from so many different traditions. We encourage and support everyone to live out their faith and purpose. During the Holiday season, I host an open chapel where we share holiday traditions, learn about one another’s tradition, and enjoy some festive desserts.

Challenging you to choose kindness during this holiday season – and always!  Can’t wait to check as many of these challenges off my list and I hope you do the same!


Rev. Amor Del Rosario
Director of Spiritual Life, BCC Baltimore


BCC Holiday Kindness Challenge

  1. Donate to a food bank
    It’s not always easy to put food on the table. In fact, many families struggle. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 10.2% of households were food insecure in 2021 — roughly 13.5 million people. Consider donating non-perishable items to your local food bank. Or, if you can, think about making a monetary donation to help fight hunger and erase food insecurity.
  1. Leave one-dollar bills around the dollar store (especially in the toy section)
    How fun would it be to see the look on people’s faces when they discover that it seems like dollars are growing at the “dollar tree”.
  1. Send a handwritten letter
    Text messages and emails may be fast and easy, but they lack a personal touch. But receiving a handwritten letter in the mail? That’s priceless. Take the time to write out a thoughtful message to a friend or family member. You’ll be surprised how much they appreciate the effort put into it — and who knows? They just might write you back!
  1. Volunteer your time
    Sometimes the most valuable present of all is the gift of time. Your presence, whether it be with loved ones or someone in need, can go a long way toward making a tangible impact on someone’s life. Consider volunteering a few hours of your time at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
  1. Shovel snow for a neighbor
    You may not realize it, but even the smallest favors could make a big difference. Shoveling snow, for instance, is an important household chore in the winter months, but not necessarily an easy one for elderly or disabled people. Taking that burden off their shoulders is a good deed they’re sure to appreciate.
  1. Shop at local businesses
    It’s important to support small businesses, especially now that over half of consumer shopping budgets are spent online. Being the season of giving, the holidays are essential to independent stores’ overall financial well-being. Choosing to shop locally can help small businesses survive well into the future.
  1. Participate in a toy or clothing drive
    Not every child is fortunate enough to receive presents during the holiday season. And, by the same token, many people go cold during the winter chill. Fortunately, you can lend a helping hand by donating gently used toys and clothes to organizations that support these worthy causes.
  1. Make care packages for your members of the Armed Forces serving overseas
    Beef Jerky, Pringles, pillow cases, Old Bay, toiletries, are always appreciated by those who are unable to be home for the holidays.
  1. Tape spare change to a vending machine
    Imagine the disappointment you’d feel if you went to grab a snack from the vending machine only to find yourself a few nickels short of your favorite go-to treat. Luckily, you have the power to make sure that doesn’t happen. Taping change to the machine may not satisfy your hunger, but it’ll certainly bring a smile to a stranger’s face in their time of need.
  1. Hand out compliment cards
    Compliments are a great way to spread the holiday cheer, even to people you don’t know. Write down heartfelt affirmations on a notecard, then hand them out to friends, coworkers and strangers you encounter. A few words here and there could really uplift someone’s spirits.
  1. Pick up litter alongside your street
    Did you know there are nearly 50 billion pieces of litter on U.S. roadways and waterways? Unfortunately, it’s true — but, the good news is you can do something about it. Join the effort by walking your neighborhood streets and picking up litter as you go.
  1. Let someone cut you in line
    The holidays are a busy time of year, especially when you’re out shopping. Next time you’re in a store, practice patience and courtesy by allowing someone to cut ahead of you in line, especially if they have fewer items than you. Although it’s a small gesture, you never know what it might mean to someone else.
  1. Go caroling with your neighbors
    Caroling is a staple holiday pastime. Not only is it a fun and happy experience, but it’s also a chance to spread joy across your community. So, gather up your family, friends and neighbors to sing a few happy songs for those who could use it, such as people in nursing homes or hospitals.
  1. Bake cookies for coworkers
    Help your colleagues get in on the holiday spirit by baking them a tray of festive treats. Chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, sugar cookies — whatever the choice, they’re sure to appreciate the effort. Plus, sweets are a great way to make your workplace a warmer and friendlier environment.
  1. Donate to charity
    Consider making a charitable donation to a good cause. Do your due diligence and research a charity close to your heart. Your contribution, no matter how big or small, will make a world of difference during the holiday season. Donating doesn’t always mean monetary, consider donating your time.
  1. Tape Microwave Popcorn to a Red Box
    Complete someone’s movie night with popcorn.
  1. Provide a generous tip
    Working in the food industry is hard work! Give an unexpected blessing to your server to show your appreciation.
  1. Leave a bouquet of flowers on a stranger’s car, desk, porch, or just give it to them as you walk by them on the street.
  1. Smile at 5 strangers in one day
    Dolly Parton said, “If you see someone without a smile, give ‘em yours!”
  1. Put together Blessing Bags and keep them in your Car.
    Hand them out when you encounter someone who might need them. click here to access the Picnic Project for some ideas
  1. Put Money in the Salvation Army bucket
  1. Bring treats to your local fire department or the night shift at the local hospital.
    Our front line workers do not get much time off. Brighten their day with a treat. The night shift gets forgotten at times.
  1. Pass out bottles of water
  1. Donate food, blankets, toys to your local animal shelter. If you can, volunteer to walk and pet the animals up for adoption.
    So many animals need human connection and love in order to be adoptable. Consider providing some food and “practice” for these animals as they wait for their “fur-ever” home.
  1. Carry $5 gift cards to a coffee shop or food establishment you frequent.
    Rather than paying for the person in behind you in line, turn around and give it to them or give it to someone walking through the door as you leave. Your barista will thank you.

These are just some ideas to get you going. I hope you take some time to bring some kindness to those around you, especially complete strangers, you never know just how far your act of kindness could spread!

Happy Holidays!

Read more from Choose Kindness

Jim Young Memorial Golf Tournament 2023 — Thank You!



In a remarkable display of unwavering community support, Board of Child Care’s annual Jim Young Memorial Golf Tournament once again exceeded all expectations!

This cherished event—held in memory of the late Jim Young—has a profound impact on the lives of youth served in our Pennsylvania programs. This year’s tournament raised an astounding $63,150 in support!

To every golfer, sponsor, volunteer, and supporter who contributed to the success of this event, we extend our heartfelt gratitude. Thank you for helping us make a lasting impact and honoring the memory of Jim Young through our collective dedication to—and FORE—the kids!

Read more from Jim Young Memorial Golf Tournament 2023 — Thank You!

Baltimore Campus Christmas Store 2017

2017 Baltimore Campus Christmas Store is up and running today and tomorrow. Here are a few pictures of the incredible setup and donations from our Auxiliary.

We are grateful for PSA Insurance & Financial Services​ and our Auxiliary volunteers for this year’s Christmas Store! To see more pictures and learn how to get involved with volunteering Board of Child Care​ visit
Want to learn how you can help? We always need prayer blankets! Learn how here



Handmade gift baskets for someone special
We love our volunteers!
So many kind and generous people in this world and in our community



Read more from Baltimore Campus Christmas Store 2017


 Will you participate in #GivingTuesday for the @BoardofChildCare on Tuesday, November 28th 2017?
There are several easy ways you can get involved!

Like Us on Facebook

Donate Online  and let your Facebook followers know
using hashtag #GivingTuesday, #StuffOurStocking and at symbol @BoardofChildCare

Share with us an awesome story about giving
so we can include it in our next newsletter

The proceeds from #GivingTuesday are first used to fund the holiday celebrations and Christmas presents for those living at BCC (see the 2016 recap here). After those needs are met, donations will be directed to where they are needed most throughout BCC’s educational, mental health, and residential programs.

Read more from #GivingTuesday