Lutheran Services Carolinas provides case management services in North and South Carolina to minors who enter the U.S. without a parent or legal guardian. The majority of these children arrive from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras and are fleeing violence and abuse. The U.S. government stops the children at the border and places them in detention centers while they await release to an appropriate caregiver called a sponsor. Children enter immigration proceedings immediately upon being detained.
The Lutheran Services Carolinas Home Study program ensures that minors are released to safe homes and appropriate sponsors by conducting assessments and home visits. Through the Post Release Services program, case managers connect minors to culturally and linguistically appropriate community resources such as schools, mental health, medical, and legal services, and encourage their involvement in prosocial activities like volunteering. Case managers also ensure that the minor is safe and in a stable, supportive environment.
The children identify gang violence and a lack of police protection as the number one reason for fleeing their homes. They embark on an arduous and dangerous journey by foot, bus, and train to reach safety in the Unites States.
Additional information can be found by visiting www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org.