Family Reunification Services

Safe Release Services, Home Studies, and Post-Release Services

LSI’s family reunification services are designed to ensure immigrant children are safely reunited with their guardians or sponsors in the United States, and then continue to be successful in their home and community. 

Programs

Home
Studies

LSI caseworkers conduct an in-depth evaluation of the home environment into which a child will be placed in order to ensure the child’s safety and well-being. Home Studies are provided through LSI’s partnership with Heartland Alliance. The program also focuses on connecting children with community services to establish continuous support.

Post-Release
Services

After families have been reunited, LSI case managers connect children and sponsors with resources or ongoing assistance that empower them to be successful and healthy in their home, school, and community. We provide short-term case management, building families’ capacity toward self-sufficiency. Services are not mandatory, but many families see the benefits of case management support and services. Post-Release Services are provided through LSI’s partnership with Heartland Alliance.

Safe Release
Services

LSI provides on-site fingerprinting to sponsors seeking to be reunited with children. Fingerprints are a required component of the federal background check process that sponsors must complete in order to be reunited with their children.

Fingerprinting must be conducted for the sponsor and anyone else in the home before a child can be released from ORR custody and reunited with family. This process can cause apprehension for sponsors; LSI provides these services in a culturally and linguistically appropriate setting, offering reassurance and guiding sponsors through the required paperwork and other components of the process.

Safe Release Services are provided by referral only and administered through LSI’s partnership with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.

Eligibility

An unaccompanied child, or children at the border, are defined as someone who enters the United States under the age of 18 years old, without lawful documentation status, and without an accompanying parent or legal guardian. LSI seeks to advocate for and connect these children with the support and services they deserve, in a trauma-informed and culturally appropriate manner, and in alignment with LSI’s mission of compassionate service. There is often apprehension about the process, but our caseworkers strive to help sponsors and children feel safe, comfortable, and supported.

Those who are eligible for services include:
• Unaccompanied children who are referred directly through the Office of Refugee Resettlement and its national network of partners;
• An unaccompanied child or sponsor who has contacted the Office of Refugee Resettlement National Call Center at 800.203.7001 and been referred for services.

Contact

For more information, contact
Derma.Rivera-Aguirre@LSIowa.org

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