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 safe and stable homes for neglected and abused children.
Family Support Programs
- Permanency Planning Foster Care 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 from around the world who come to the U.S. without families. We place children in culturally matched homes and/or provide culturally competent support to foster parents who care for these children.
Our 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 Centers: build upon strengths and capacities, serve as a hub for the community, work for positive social change, and offer help in a non-threatening environment.
Refugees Mental Health Services
International Counseling and Community Services (ICCS) and the Pathways to Wellness project have a shared goal for each refugee to be a successful, thriving, and contributing member of their new community, bringing their faith, resilience, and customs to enrich the tapestry of our nation.
- ICCS is a licensed mental health agency that primarily serves refugee individuals, youth and families, as well as torture survivors. International Counseling currently provides services to over 350 refugees and asylum seekers 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.
- Pathways to Wellness: Integrating Refugee Health and Well-being project was developed to create early identification and treatment for emotionally distressed refugees. Pathways provides outreach to refugee communities around mental health issues common to trauma and adjustment, and building the capacity of other mental health providers to work with refugee populations by offering ongoing training and consultation.
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
- LCS continues to expand independent living services to refugee and immigrant foster youth.
- LCS is developing a new parent training to strengthen and support families.
Family Support Centers
- In 2012, 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 a larger space in their Latino Family Center enabling them to provide increased critical basic needs services and increased programming. 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 6,534 economically disadvantaged people with school supplies, holiday meals, and gifts for their families.
International Counseling and Community Services
- International Counseling services is partnering with Harborview Medical Center and Northwest Immigrant Rights Project to create Northwest health and Human Rights, the first designated torture treatment program in Washington State. Close to 15% of International Counselings current clients are survivors of torture. They are providing both mental health and social support services, while Harborview will provide medical care and Northwest Immigrant Rights will provide legal assistance. This exciting endeavor seeks to create a comprehensive approach to improving the well-being of survivors of torture in King County, WA.
- Beth Farmer, Program Director, received the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community Health Leaders Award in 2012 for her work with Pathways to Wellness, providing a vital mental health screening tool for refugees. Only 200 people in history have received this award, and 4 of those recipients have been from Washington State.
LCSNW has had many successes in the past year. However, we continue to seek:
- Funding to build operational infrastructure and ongoing financial sustainability
- Volunteers to provide ongoing support to programs
- Foster parents to provide a permanent or respite for a child in need.