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 provides safe and stable homes for abused and neglected children in King and Snohomish Counties.
- The Permanency Planning Foster-Adopt Program ensures that every child who enters foster care has a safe, loving, permanent home at the earliest age possible. A leader in the concurrent planning field, Family Specialists work with birth family, foster family, and children toward two goals – either to see each child reunified with birth family, or to see them adopted by their foster family. With this plan, children in the program are protected from the harmful effects of moves between multiple foster homes, and can begin on a path of healing and hope.
- The Refugee and Immigrant Children’s Program places unaccompanied refugee and immigrant children in loving foster homes. Fleeing war, extreme poverty, neglect, or abandonment, these children have no adult to care for them and would otherwise face a bleak future. Foster parents in King and Snohomish Counties provide security, hope, love, and family. These resilient children come from all over the world, most recently from countries such as Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Burma, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The children and families in each of our foster care programs receive ongoing wraparound support, in-house training, and tailored resources to help them to thrive together.
Family Support Programs
Our eight Family Support Centers are located throughout the North Puget Sound region and are focused on reducing crisis situations and strengthening families through ongoing support services, increasing access to local resources, decreasing isolation and building community.Family Support Centers work side by side with participants to enhance the strengths and capacities of each individual and families; serve as a hub for the community; work for positive social change; affirm and strengthen families' cultural, racial, and linguistic identities; and enhance every individual's 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 two years of its existence, this partnership served over 400 individuals from over 40 different countries.
- 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 refugees.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
This past year has brought many successes and opportunities to the programs of LCSNW:
Children's Services Foster Care and Adoption Programs
Family Support Centers
- 100% of the children in LCSNW foster care live in stable and safe foster homes, free from abuse and neglect.
- In 2014, LCSNW foster care youth had a 100% high school graduation rate, with 100% of graduates receiving scholarships to two or four year colleges.
- Since 1980 LCSNW foster care programs have provided services for children and families.
- In 2014, the majority of surveyed participants said being involved with the Family Centers helped increase skills and knowledge of needed community resources, as well as made them more connected to their community and community members.
- The Family Support Centers have expanded to include a Family Support Center in Arlington enabling them to provide increased critical basic needs services, respond to the ongoing needs from the Highway 530 slide, and increase programming in Snohomish County.
- Through the Annual Back to School Fairs and Holiday Giving Projects, the Family Support Centers worked with community members to provide 6,479 economically disadvantaged people with school supplies, holiday meals, and gifts for their families.
International Counseling and Community Services
- 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 150 locales around the United States.
- The first torture-treatment collaborative in Washington State, Northwest Health and Human Rights, served over 400 people in its first two years.
Lutheran Community Services Northwest has had many successes thanks to the supporters of our programs. We continue to seek:
- Operational support and funding to build financial sustainability for our programs,
- Volunteers to help us further our mission, and
- Loving adults, individuals or couples, who are willing to become foster families for children in need.