When refugee and immigrant children arrive in the United States without a parent or loved one to provide the shelter, security and sustenance they deserve, we are there.
LIRS is one of two organizations in the world that provides specialized foster care services for resettled unaccompanied refugee children. This unique program started in the 1980s in response to the huge number of unaccompanied and separated children fleeing Southeast Asia. Over the years the program has grown to include children from around the world, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, Burma, Afghanistan, Iraq, India, Ukraine, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico. LIRS’s affiliate network ensures that the children placed in their care receive the services and support they need to be successful in adapting to a new country, culture and home.
Over the years, working with our affiliated child welfare programs located throughout the country, we have placed more than 6,000 children into the unaccompanied refugee minor program with licensed and trained foster families. Find out how you can become a foster parent here. These unaccompanied children include refugees, victims of human trafficking, asylees, Cuban/Haitian entrants, and those granted status as a special immigrant juvenile.
In addition to providing foster care services to refugee children in 12 U.S. cities, LIRS partners with its affiliate network to meet the needs of migrant children leaving federal detention facilities in need of a loving home. These vulnerable children are supported in their new communities through mental and physical health services, educational programs, group activities, legal services, and family reunification when possible.
- Unable to name any family members or appropriate sponsors
- Facing prolonged immigration cases that make their future uncertain
- Hindered from returning to their home country in a timely manner
- Engaged in in-depth interviews or a gradual transition to family reunification
- At risk for and possible victims of trafficking, trauma or torture