Family and Community Services

Safe Passage founder Hanley Denning held a master’s degree in social work and had an uncanny ability to connect with community members by listening to their stories and learning their needs.

When Hanley learned of a need, she felt called to meet it.

Today, Safe Passage Family and Community Services meets the needs of the children in our programs with a social conscience for the entire Guatemala City dump community.

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Family and Community Services closely monitors student wellness because we know how much their physical and mental health affects their educational progress.

Students in Safe Passage programs eat nourishing meals and snacks and have access to medical care through the Safe Passage infirmary. When more advanced care is required, our social workers accompany students and families to local health centers for treatment.

Family and Community Services also extends our care into the student’s community. Through bi-monthly home visits, trained social workers provide social service outreach to children and families in Safe Passage programs.

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Social workers also visit the public schools where Safe Passage students in grades 5 through 9 spend the standard Guatemalan 4-hour school day. By following their academic and social progress at home, school, and in the community, social workers can create a comprehensive assessment of each student—and gain a comprehensive understanding of the best ways to support each student.

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The parents of Safe Passage students are a critical link between our program and the community, and Safe Passage social workers help parents navigate the new student enrollment process. On-site social workers at the Escuelita and Educational Reinforcement Center are available to respond to parent and student questions or concerns.