Lutheran Community Services Northwest Programs
Lutheran Community Services Northwest responds to the emerging needs of communities through diverse programs in Western Washington.
Foster Care and Adoption
LCSNW offers two foster programs with the goal to provide safe and stable homes for neglected and abused children in King and Snohomish Counties.
Family Support Programs
- Permanency Planning Foster Care Program works to reunify children with their birth families while providing loving and stable foster homes for children with the goal of their foster home remaining a permanent, adoptive home in the event that our reunification efforts with birth families are unsuccessful.
- Refugee and Immigrant Children's Program serves refugee and immigrant children who come to the U.S. without families. The children, mostly teenagers, come from all over the world with recent arrivals including those from Eritrea, Burma, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, among others. LCSNW places children in culturally matched homes and/or provide culturally competent support to foster parents who care for these children. Children and families receive ongoing wraparound support, training, and resources to help them to thrive together.
Our six Family Support Centers are located in communities throughout the North Puget Sound region and are focused on preventing crisis situations through family support services, increasing access to resources, decreasing isolation and building community. Family Support Centers: work side by side with participants to enhance strengths and capacities of each individual and family; serve as a hub for the community; work for positive social change; and affirm and strengthen families’ cultural, racial, and linguistic identities and enhance their ability to function in a multicultural society.
Mental Health for Refugees, Asylees and Immigrants
International Counseling and Community Services (ICCS) helps newcomers become a successful, thriving, and contributing member of their new community, by offering mental health and social services designed to heal from past trauma and current migration issues.
- International Counseling and Community Services is a licensed mental health agency that primarily serves refugee and asylum-seeking individuals. International Counseling currently provides services to over 400 individuals each year. Clients come from all over the world including the diverse regions of the former Soviet Union, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Rwanda, and more. Clients are provided services in their native language, often by mental health providers from their country.
- Northwest Health and Human Rights (NWHHR) is collaboration between Lutheran Community Services Northwest, Harborview Medical Center, and Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. NWHHR provides medical, legal, and mental health services to survivors of torture who live in Western Washington and provides consultation and capacity building in Eastern Washington. In the first six months of its existence, this partnership served 241 individuals.
- Pathways to Wellness: Integrating Refugee Health and Well-being project helps identify and refer new arrival refugees who are experiencing extreme emotional distress. Pathways also provides outreach to refugee communities around issues common to trauma and adjustment, and provides training to mental health providers so that they can better work with refugee.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
This past year has brought many successes and opportunities to the programs of LCSNW:
Children's Services Foster Care Programs
Family Support Centers
- 100% of children in LCSNW foster care live in stable and safe foster homes free from abuse and neglect.
- 98% of the LCSNW foster youth graduate from high school.
- In the last three years 90% of the foster youth high school graduates have entered community colleges or universities. 71% of the graduates received the Washington State Governor’s Scholarship for Foster Youth.
International Counseling and Community Services
- In 2013, 97% of 2,075 surveyed participants said their involvement helped increase their access to needed community resources; 100% of 585 participants surveyed said that being involved with the Family Centers made them more connected to their community and community members; and 99% of 718 participants surveyed said that participating in our programs helped them increase their skills and knowledge.
- The Family Support Centers have expanded to include a Family Support Center in Granit Falls enabling them to provide increased critical basic needs services and increased programming in Snohomish County. In addition, they have expanded services in rural communities, providing basic needs assistance, the Healthy Family Project, ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Trainings, access to computer labs and more.
- Through the Annual Back to School Fairs and Holiday Giving Projects, the Family Support Centers worked with community members to provide 7,461 economically disadvantaged people with school supplies, holiday meals, and gifts for their families.
- Pathways to Wellness developed a validated instrument for screening new arrival refugees for emotional distress. Called the Refugee Health Screener-15, the tool is now being used on four continents and in over 50 locales.
- ICCS led efforts to bring the first torture-treatment collaborative to Washington State.
- In its first year, Northwest Health and Human Rights, served over 240 people.
Lutheran Community Services Northwest has had many successes thanks to the supporters of our programs. We continue to seek ongoing:
- Operational support and funding to build financial sustainability for our programs,
- Volunteers to help us further our mission, and
- Loving foster parents to provide a forever home or respite for children in need.