Providing Family Support

Once an unaccompanied child has been placed with a sponsor, in many cases, LIRS provides extended case management support–scheduling regular visits and follow-ups with the child and family to ensure that the child is safe, cared for, and adjusting to their new surroundings.

In response to the 2018 family separation crisis, LIRS adapted this range of services to support families after they were reunified. We were one of only two organization called upon by the U.S. government to take on this work.

During this challenging time at the border, recently-reunited families entered LIRS care and were met by friendly volunteers, child welfare experts, and trauma-informed case workers. They were provided temporary shelter, food, clothing, cell phones, backpacks, and toys.

Following immediate stabilization services, LIRS reverted to its standard child-welfare protocol, calling upon partners in 33 states to provide extended support to these families–including health, mental health, and legal services–once they had settled into a new community.

Beyond the context of the family separation crisis, this array of extended support is regularly offered to the children and families we reunite year-round. Referred to as “post-release case management,” the aim of this extended contact is to ensure that vulnerable children end up in stable family situations and have every opportunity to grow and thrive once they’ve left our care.

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