Until 2005, The Children’s Village—established in 1851 to care for orphans in New York City—largely focused on residential programs. Under the leadership of President and CEO Jeremy Kohomban, The Children’s Village transformed into an irreplaceable source of support for children through community engagement. Vincent Madera, the director of The Children’s Village Institute, is a key player in that transformation.
As Vincent describes it, the goal is to keep families together safely by ensuring they have access to the resources they need to be successful through community-based programs. Today, the Children’s Village offers community-based services, in addition to some short-term residential initiatives, that enable youth to stay in their homes.
Vincent, who has faithfully served families in New York City for decades, recently joined the Lutheran Services in America Congregate Care cohort—an initiative to improve equitable outcomes and permanency for children in congregate care—to share his insights on the importance of investing in community-based programs. He recognizes the inherent racism in the child welfare system and how the process of removing youth from their families causes significant trauma. Ultimately, families must have the resources and support they need to be successful. The Lutheran social ministry organizations participating in the Congregate Care cohort were inspired by Vincent’s words, and he recently returned for an in-depth session to further support the cohort.
We thank Vincent Madera for his commitment to transforming the child welfare system, and for inspiring Lutheran social ministry organizations to do the same!
The Children’s Village is a partner of Lutheran Services in America. Together, with our members across the country, we are working to increase permanency rates and strengthen outreach to families, with a particular focus on addressing racial inequities.
For more information about The Children’s Village, visit ChildrensVillage.org.
By Caitlyn Gudmundsen, Director of Strategic Initiatives