Every year, thousands of refugee and migrant children journey to the United States alone–without their parents or family to accompany them. LIRS works with the U.S. government and our network partners to place these children in loving homes with licensed foster parents who are trained to provide care for immigrant youth.
Foster Care Services
Transitional Foster Care (TFC)
Transitional Foster Care (TFC) nurtures particularly vulnerable children who will be united with their families. All children in the program — including minors under the age of 12, pregnant or parenting youth, young people with disabilities, and sibling groups — receive one-on-one assessment and counseling, holistic support ranging from education to legal services to health care, and access to religious services.
Long Term Foster Care (LTFC)
Some children who come to the United States do not have any family or family friends who are able to provide care for them. For unaccompanied children who have no identified caregiver and who are eligible for legal immigration protections, LIRS provides Long Term Foster Care (LTFC).
As they cope with the uncertainties of the U.S. immigration system, these children are surrounded by a loving and supportive foster family. They will go to school, they will engage in sports and other activities, and they will seek to live their lives as they await their determination from an immigration court. These children stay in the program until their immigration case is resolved, then typically transition into the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors program.
Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program (URM)
LIRS is one of only two organizations that works with the government to support unaccompanied refugee minors (URMs). Many of the youth we serve through this program have lost parents and family members to systemic violence in their home countries. In the name of protection and empowerment, LIRS places unaccompanied refugee minors (URM) from all over the world in foster care, group homes, and semi-independent living settings. We also work with affiliates who provide services to support the acculturation and integration of children into communities all over the country. LIRS gives URM, most of whom enter the program between the ages of 15 and 17, the option of receiving the support of a foster family or working toward independence in a group-home setting.