DINAF was established in June by the President of Honduras aimed at improving services and conditions for abused and neglected children and at-risk youth. During the past several weeks, DINAF has taken several key steps, including:
- Working to provide homes at private, non-governmental organizations for more than 300 children currently living in substandard government institutions.
- Planning to outsource the administration and operation of juvenile detention facilities that have been wracked by violence.
- Expediting hearings on reports of child abuse and neglect to address family issues immediately or provide protective services.
- Launching public service campaigns to warn parents about the dangers and penalties for risking their children’s lives and attempting to smuggle them across the U.S. border
- Developing an Early Childhood Violence Prevention Policy that seeks to partner with churches, private businesses, and youth organizations to create better opportunities for young people.
“Orphan Helpers has been working for more than a decade to provide services and programs for the orphaned, abused, and incarcerated children of Honduras. While much work remains, the recent steps taken by the government are the most promising structural changes we’ve seen to improve the lives of these children,” said Greg Harris, Orphan Helpers Executive Director, who met recently in Honduras with government officials, non-profit leaders, churches, and business owners.
“The Department of Children, Youth and Families is making much-needed reforms in the child welfare system. On top of that, they’re doing it while trying to deal with the huge numbers of children coming back to Honduras after being deported from the U.S. and Mexico. Orphan Helpers is pleased the government is reaching out to non-governmental organizations, faith-based groups, and churches to be part of the solution.”
In addition to its regular day-to-day work inside the government-run orphanages and detention centers, Orphan Helpers is assisting DINAF at the government center in San Pedro Sula where children are returning from the U.S. and Mexico. Orphan Helpers also is serving on a government advisory panel to provide recommendations for improving programs and conditions at juvenile detention centers.
Orphan Helpers is a 501(c)(3) organization based in Newport News, Virginia, founded in 2000 by Greg and Libby Garrett. Orphan Helpers serves the physical, spiritual, emotional, and educational needs of children living in government-run orphanages and juvenile detention centers in Honduras and El Salvador.