The United States has long helped some of the most vulnerable of refugees through its Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM) programs – a vitally important part of the overall U.S. refugee resettlement program. Refugees Northwest Foster Care is a URM program here in the Seattle area, designed to protect young refugees, immigrants, and trafficked youth who are alone and without caregivers. Our program began in 1980 by resettling Vietnamese children in Washington State. Over the years, we have placed over 500 unaccompanied minors in foster care, giving them the opportunity for education and the chance to rebuild their lives.
What We Do
Today, Refugees Northwest Foster Care serves over 70 unaccompanied minors from countries all over the world such as Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Burma (ethnic minority Rohingya), Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. All of these youth are in the U.S. alone without a parent or guardian to care for them. They have fled war, persecution, abuse, neglect, or violence and are unable to return home.
We connect these youth to foster families and safe housing, and then support them and their new caregivers to ensure access to education, healthcare, and the realization of their personal goals. We are proud to say that eight out of ten refugee students in our care graduate from high school, compared to just half of all other foster children nationwide. Many of these graduates go on to pursue higher education.
You Can Help
Unaccompanied youth are waiting in refugee camps overseas and in shelters within the United States until we can find safe placement for them here. By fostering with Refugees Northwest Foster Care, you can transform the life of a refugee or immigrant child who has fled war, persecution and violence. These youth need loving adults to care for them. Finding a foster family in the Seattle area means a youth has the opportunity to go to school, to see a doctor, to celebrate holidays with a family, and to live in peace and safety.
Our number one need is for individuals and couples to become licensed foster parents. You can also get involved by becoming a respite caregiver, volunteering as a tutor, or renting a room to a young adult transitioning from foster care to independence.
Can you help provide a safe and stable home? If you live in the greater Seattle area and would like to learn more about giving a refugee or immigrant a loving home, contact us today!