Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains (LFS) has served children through trauma-informed foster care, adoption, assessment, counseling, and prevention services for over 70 years.
Since 2007, we have been the only organization authorized to provide care to Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) in Colorado. URMs are overseas children under the age of 18 who have been granted Refugee status by the U.S. government, or who have otherwise been granted asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile, T-Visa, or U-Visa Status, and have no adult relative with whom to resettle in the United States. These children have been forced to flee their countries of origin because of a well-founded fear of persecution due to race, religion, nationality, or membership in a particular social or political group. Before being approved for resettlement in the United States, URMS complete the U.S. enhanced security/vetting process. When they arrive in Colorado, they are placed into licensed foster homes operated by LFS in partnership with local County Departments of Human/Social Services.
Like many across the country, we are deeply saddened and alarmed by the recent practice of separating children from families at the U.S. border with Mexico. These children are designated as Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) which greatly limits the types of services they are eligible to receive.
At this time LFS has not been contacted by the Office of Refugee Resettlement or by the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) to provide foster home placements for any of the children that have been separated from their parents at the border. We are unaware of any Unaccompanied Alien Children currently placed in Colorado, but we stand ready to serve the best interest of any children that ORR and the CO Department of Human Services approve to be cared for in Colorado.
We continue to pray for these children and their families and hope for their timely reunification.