July 16, 2018 – We are troubled to learn of the concerns about our programs as recent stories do not reflect our values or the quality of care we strive to provide. Heartland Alliance is a 130-year-old human rights organization that has been providing shelter to unaccompanied minors for more than 20 years. We stand alongside children and families seeking safety in the U.S. and we fervently believe that families belong together. The children who have come to our shelters after being forcibly separated from their parents are scared and sad. They have been through a heart wrenching experience with which our trained childcare staff, clinicians, and social workers deeply empathize. We have extensive policies, procedures, and standards of care that guide our trauma-informed approach to ensure the safety and well-being of all children in our care. While this does include daily routines and structure, age-appropriate chores, and practices to prevent the spread of communicable illnesses, we understand how these practices may be experienced by young children who are already suffering emotionally from being apart from those they love most. We take any concerns about our program extremely seriously and, as a matter of protocol, appropriately report, investigate, and address each matter that comes to our attention.