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Protecting children and reuniting families.
Imagine for a moment that you’re a child separated from your family, in a completely new country, surrounded by people who are speaking a language you can’t understand.
At LIRS, we see the courage and resilience of children who are faced with this situation every day — and we work diligently to protect these children and reunite them with loved ones as quickly as possible.
Through our network of trusted community partners, LIRS provides assistance to the U.S. government to identify family members in the country and ensure that children in our care are safely released to loved ones who are well-equipped to care for them. After families have been reunified, we provide extended support to particularly vulnerable families as they adjust to life together and navigate the immigration system.
Safe Release Support Program
The LIRS Safe Release Support Program helps reunite migrant children with their families in the United States and ensures that children who have often faced violence and trauma in their home country or on their journey to the U.S. are protected, cared for, and given access to the services they need.
How It Works
- Safe Release Support sites perform background checks on potential guardians to ensure that children are reunited into safe and secure homes.
- The Safe Release staff walk caregivers through the federal reunification process. Potential caregivers often come to the Safe Release Support site with little understanding of the family reunification process. Their appointment with the Safe Release staff is the first time that they meet with a caseworker in person, offering a human connection that allows caregivers to be open about concerns and needs.
- Safe Release staff identify needs of the family and provide resources such as pro bono legal counsel, foodbanks, counseling services, English classes, job training, and medical care. Safe Release Programs become a trusted community resource for families even after reunification.
The relationships developed in the Safe Release Support program help us determine the sponsor’s motivation for sponsoring the child, the wishes of the parent, the child’s wishes, the sponsor’s understanding of the child’s needs, as well as any risk factors or special concerns the child – or LIRS child welfare specialists – might have.
This crucial facet of our programming prevents the trafficking of children within our borders and ensures that children are placed in safe, loving homes with family members who are well-equipped to care for them.
Home Study and Post-Release Support Program
LIRS maintains a national network of case managers tasked with inspecting home environments, informing release decisions, and connecting families to community resources. These case managers are responsible for ensuring that children are safe and living in suitable homes, as well as actively promoting family reunification.
Post-Release Services case management offers three different levels of care, tailored to the needs of the minor and their families.
Level 1: For minors with minimal risk factors, a short-term service is provided to the minor and sponsor.
Level 2: For minors that require more investment, a significant amount of follow-up services is provided in order to ensure the minors’ well-being and successful integration into their community.
Level 3: For minors with significant needs, a targeted crisis intervention is created for the child and sponsor.
- 8,454 children reunited with family in the U.S.
- 1,821 children served through foster care
- 5,911 families served through safe release support
"I was filled with joy as I heard him express himself in such a positive way."
Having worked in child welfare for 5 years, I am committed to helping vulnerable children in the LIRS Family Reunification network thrive.