Unaccompanied and Migrant Children

The Situation:
During the past four years, the number of children migrating from Central America to the United States has been steadily increasing. During 2014, approximately 70,000 children and their mothers fled to the United States from the Northern Triangle countries – Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. The children’s countries of origin are aggravated by lack of protection from drug trafficking, violence, sex trafficking, poverty and unemployment, among other factors. As a result, these children are vulnerable to harmful acts and are fleeing for safety.

Our Response:

As members of the ELCA, we are called to love and welcome all. Lutheran Disaster Response has been engaging partners, companion churches and congregations in the United States that are in the midst of this situation and an Unaccompanied and Migrant Children Initiative strategy for the ELCA is being developed.
  • Working with Upbring (formerly Lutheran Social Services of the South) and shelter programs of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, we are helping support two children's shelters and two transitional foster-care programs.
    • A children's shelter site is for children ages 12-17. While waiting to unite with a guardian or sponsor, children live at these shelters, receive food assistance, medical care, are connected with a case manager, and attend school.
    • A transitional foster-care program is for children younger than 12. Children in this program attend school at a day program and live with a foster family while they wait to reunite with a guardian or sponsor.
  • Working with Lutheran Social Services of New York, Lutheran Disaster Response is helping provide pro bono legal services, clothing and learning opportunities for unaccompanied children that are placed in the New York area.
  • Lutheran Disaster Response is working with Church World Service in the Miami area to provide pro bono legal services to unaccompanied children.
  • Working with the Southwest California Synod, Lutheran Disaster Response is providing support for the Guardian Angels program, a court-watch and advocacy program started by the synod.
Your gifts designated for Unaccompanied and Migrant Children through Lutheran Disaster Response will be used 100 percent to help support efforts that will provide services and uphold the rights of those displaced.

What Can You Do?

Support unaccompanied migrant children by telling Congress to approve adequate funding to address this crisis. Find out how.

Pray for those affected by violence, that they may be granted peace and healing.

Your gifts designated for Unaccompanied and Migrant Children will be used in full (100 percent) to assist those directly impacted by this crisis. Gifts from people like you allow us to respond to those who are most vulnerable. 

To learn more about the situation and the ELCA’s response:
  • Use this bulletin insert to inform your congregation and encourage support for Unaccompanied and Migrant Children.
  • Sign up to receive Lutheran Disaster Response alerts.
  • Check the Lutheran Disaster Response blog.

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