Lutheran Community Services Northwest 


Lutheran Community Services Northwest (LCSNW) is a non-profit, multi-service, human services agency whose mission is to partner with individuals, families and communities for health, justice and hope. We accomplish our mission through community partnerships, and a variety of services including family support and advocacy, community building, refugee resettlement and support services, mental health services, and permanency for children through family reunification, foster care and adoption.

Mission Statement
Lutheran Community Services Northwest (LCSNW) partners with individuals, families, and communities for health, justice, and hope.
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Lutheran Community Services Northwest
4040 S 188th St Ste 300 
(206) 901-1685 

Roberta Nestaas 


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.                                
  • 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.
Family Support Programs              
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.
  • Northwest Health and Human Rights (NWHHR) is a new 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


Recent Successes and Current Challenges

This past year has brought many successes and opportunities to the programs of LCSNW:

International Counseling and Community Services                    

  • International Counseling Services received funding from the Office of Refugee Resettlement for the first designated torture treatment program in Washington State. International Counseling is partnering with Harborview Medical Center and Northwest Immigrant Rights Project to provide mental health, medical and legal assistance to torture survivors. (Close to 15% of International Counseling's current clients are survivors of torture.) 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 only 4 of those recipients have been from Washington State.

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. 

Children's Services Foster Care Programs

  • LCSNW continues to expand independent living services to refugee and immigrant foster youth.
  • LCS is developing a new parent training to strengthen and support families.
    Organizational Needs                                

    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.


    Lutheran Community Services Northwest (LCSN) supports refugee and immigrant populations through family support programs, mental health services and foster care and adoption programs.

    Proven Success
    The Refugee Health Screener – 15 (RHS-15) is a tool developed by Pathways to Wellness. It is the first mental health screener designed specifically for use with refugee populations in a primary care setting. Other agencies and organizations are adopting versions of RHS-15. Pathways created a series of replication guidelines for RHS-15 that are in use throughout the country. Pathways also provides webinars and technical assistance to RHS-15 adaptors.

    LCSNW is continuing to form a Health and Human Rights Center in South King County. The aim of the Center is to reduce or eliminate health disparities due to poverty or race. The four activity areas of the Center include health, community connection, education and advocacy. The Center will have a collective and coordinated impact on community systems, families and individuals. They are partnering with Global to Local, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Literacy Source and HealthPoint.

    LCSNW uses collaborative relationships to maintain effectiveness in the midst of economic challenges. LCSNW works with over 80 organizations, community businesses, groups and individuals to coordinate and supplement the services it provides. The New Arrival Working Group is one outgrowth of this collaboration. This group focuses on emerging health and mental health issues in refugees located in King County. The group coordinates the sharing of resources among participants. Group participants include representatives from King County’s resettlement agencies, Public Health’s refugee screening clinic, TB and Hepatitis B outreach programs, Children’s Hospital and Harborview Medical Center.

    Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

    Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

    9/10/2013 $25,000.00support the Healthy Families Program.
    12/10/2012 $20,000.00provide general operating support.
    12/10/2011 $25,000.00support general operating expenses.
    9/14/2010 $12,500.00to support the Parent Line program in Clallam County, with a focus on the Quileute Tribe.
    6/10/2010 $25,000.00support general operating expenses.
    12/10/2007 $40,000.00support general operating expenses for the Cascade People's Center and The Village at Angle Lake Family Resource Center.
    9/16/2004 $50,000.00support the Capital Campaign for the Community Services Building in SeaTac.


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