Walking Alongside Families

Rebuilding Hope, April 2015 edition
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Families Full

Three children, ages 9, 10, and 12, recently fled their home country of El Salvador to find safety and reunite with their mother and father in the United States. The children were separated from their mother when the youngest was only 2 years old, and one of the children had a significant history of physical abuse by his grandfather in El Salvador.

The family’s income is limited to the father’s seasonal work in agriculture; their mother is blind and unable to find work. Furthermore, the family faces cultural and language barriers because their primary language is rarely spoken outside their local community in Central America.

When the children first arrived in the United States an assessment of their risks, traumas, and other vulnerabilities was completed. They were referred for in-home case management services with LIRS to assist in their adjustment to living in the United States and with their parents who they’ve been separated from for many years.

The local LIRS Family Reunification worker worked tirelessly to help the parents and their children access community resources. Due to the mom’s special needs and her fear of traveling on her own, the local LIRS worker drove the three children and their mom to their legal hearing at the immigration court almost two hours away. This care and attention made the mom and her children feel empowered and comfortable.

Unaccompanied children often face severe violence and trauma in their home country as well as throughout their journey to the United States, but their adjustment once they enter the United States can be just as challenging. Children who suffer from severe trauma and violence can be impacted in many ways, which can impede their development, social relationships, positive self-worth, and have long-term emotional effects.

With the help of LIRS, the children were released to their parents’ custody. They all were granted asylum in September 2014, and can now begin to find some permanency here in the United States.

With the support of the local partner, the children enrolled in school and received core services such as health insurance and legal representation. Today, all three children are doing well in school and are looking forward to a better future in the United States.

Many of the children and families we work with need help to understand and navigate the complex legal systems. The majority of children also come with trauma and fears of returning to their home country.

Your support helps us reunite families and equip them to better handle the emotional challenges that come from long separation, the stress of relocating to a new place, and the past suffering they endured.

Thank you for making it possible to provide all of these services for families like this one!

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