A Long History of Caring for Children in Need

A long history of caring for children in need

For over 40 years, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service has answered the call to provide hope and care to kids in need. Explore the history of Children and Family Services programs, a journey through our years of courageously serving the voiceless and most marginalized children seeking care in America.

1975 - present

Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program

Funder: Office of Refugee Resettlement

Program Description: The URM Program helps unaccompanied refugee minors develop appropriate skills to enter adulthood and to achieve social self-sufficiency. The URM Program has two primary goals: 1. reunify unaccompanied refugee children with their parents or, within the context of state child welfare practice, with nonparental adult relatives; 2. help unaccompanied minors develop appropriate skills to enter adulthood and to achieve economic and social self-sufficiency through delivery of child welfare services in a culturally sensitive manner.

2014 - present

Transitional Care

Funder: Office of Refugee Resettlement

Program Description: Transitional care provides short-term foster care and group home services for the youngest and most vulnerable unaccompanied children who have recently arrived in the U.S., while planning for their futures takes place.

Family Reunification Services

2014 - present

Long Term Foster Care

Funder: Ofice of Refugee Resettlement

Program Description: Family foster care and group home care for unaccompanied children without family sponsors and with pending applications for legal protection in the U.S.

2006 - present

Safe Release Support

Funder: Office of Refugee Resettlement

Program Description: Background checks, fingerprinting, document assistance, and community service referrals for caregivers seeking to reunify with unaccompanied children in federal custody.

2005 - 2010

Safe Haven

Funder: Office of Refugee Resettlement

Program Description: LIRS provided third party case coordination services to all ORR contracted shelter care facilities. The program supported upwards of 50 LIRS direct staff based in close proximity to the shelters they served.

2004 - present

Home Study and Post Release Services

Funder: Office of Refugee Resettlement

Program Description: Home studies and community-based case management services for particularly vulnerable unaccompanied children reunifying with family members in the U.S.

2003 - 2007

Trafficked Children Initiative

Funder: Office of Refugee Resettlement

Program Description: This program coordinated with state-licensed, specialized foster care programs to place unaccompanied trafficked children in culturally appropriate foster homes, group homes, or independent living arrangements, appropriate to the youth’s developmental needs.

2010 - 2011

Haiti Initiative

Funder: Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Program Description: LIRS worked with local Lutheran congregations, social ministry organizations and other community-based groups in Florida to support and protect Haitian children, residing in Florida, who were impacted by the January 12th earthquake.

2015

Lugar de Bienvenida (Place of Welcome)

Funder: LIRS border funding

Program Description: This program engaged the church in serving the migrant and refugee population by providing a fellowship and information meeting or series of meetings.

2014

Sponsor Orientation Pilot Program

Funder: LIRS unrestricted funds

Program Description: This program provided culturally-informed orientation to sponsors of unaccompanied children to assist them in understanding the legal process, the social and educational services available in the community. The Sponsor Orientation Pilot Project had two components: (1) an Orientation to Family Reunification Process and (2) the Cultural and Legal Orientation.

2018 - present

Family Reunification Support

Funder: LIRS unrestricted funds

Program Description: LIRS provides post release support and services to families newly reunited after detention, increasing community preparedness for both the detainees and the communities where they will be located. The goal of the program is to prepare families with the education and skills to have successful reunification with minors and support the long term integration of parents and minors in their local community.

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