Journey to The New LSS
Inspired by our faith and commitment to make a difference…
…Lutheran Social Services changes lives through compassionate services to children, families and communities in times of need.
In the previous article, we discussed the magnitude of the child abuse problem in Texas: An estimated 66,000 unduplicated victims of child abuse were confirmed in 2013, and yet only 17,000 children were removed from their homes. We remain haunted by the fact that 49,000 children, who experienced abuse or neglect, were not removed.
In 2014, LSS provided care for 1,000 children in safe and loving foster homes, residential treatment for 376 formerly abused children and the largest adoption services program in the state.
We are the right agency to drive transformative change in ending the cycle of child abuse because our strengths and core responsibilities have been in serving children, families and communities through a history of excellence in program delivery.
After an extensive review, CARF International – the independent Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities – awarded a three-year accreditation to all of our children’s and family services programs across Texas. This is a testimony to our commitment to excellence, dedication and great work on the part of the LSS team.
Foster In Texas
LSS’s Foster in Texas is the largest provider in Texas with 14 offices. The program staff is engaged in addressing the immediate need for more families willing and able to help foster infants, teens, siblings and children with special needs. All of the foster parents are required to undertake extensive training and background checks before children are placed in their homes.
Each of these children is unique; they enter the foster care system at different stages of their lives and as a result of different events. Because the causes and kinds of abuse vary, LSS is committed to breaking down program silos and providing services across a continuum.
Krause Children’s Center
At Krause Center, girls 12 to 17 years old who have been removed from their homes or foster placements for a variety of reasons, most due to histories of severe abuse or neglect, are engaged in the healing process through in-depth clinical therapy, personal development activities, and spiritual care in a safe setting.
New Life Children’s Center
Almost all of the girls ages 11 to 17 who arrive at New Life Children’s Center’s tranquil country setting are coming directly from foster homes, with behaviors too intense and disruptive for their foster parents to handle. Many have had several foster care placements before Texas Child Protective Services (CPS) places them at New Life. The Hill Country campus with home-like dormitories and specialized trauma therapy help restore a sense of hope for their futures.
BeREAL: Austin & New Orleans
In Central Texas, more than 1,300 young adults left the foster care system because they “aged out.” LSS began to tackle this issue in the Austin area this year through BeREAL Austin, a program to empower these young adults to become contributing and self-sufficient members of our communities and helping to break the generational cycles of poverty and abuse. LSS first offered the BeREAL transition program in New Orleans and last year provided services for 124 young adults in Louisiana.
In Corpus Christi, LSS’s Bokencamp Children’s Center is an emergency shelter for unaccompanied immigrant children, primarily from Central America, who need a safe environment after long harrowing journeys separated from their families. In El Paso and Corpus Christi, LSS is working with the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement to help migrant children through transitional care in LSS foster homes.
LSS’s adoption services assists women facing unplanned pregnancies by providing confidential options counseling, support and resources to help you explore their choices. Our adoption specialists help birth mothers create the best life possible for their babies. As a Hague Accredited Agency, LSS also has partnered with other international adoption agencies since 1967, facilitating the placement of several thousand children.
Trinity Charter Schools
The support we receive from individuals, congregations and others helps us to supplement inadequate state funding. Our charter school system, providing educational opportunities for children at the residential treatment facilities – LSS’S Krause Children’s Center in Katy and New Life Children’s Center in Canyon Lake – is unique.
Beyond our work with children in foster care, residential treatment, the adoption system and recently arrived immigrant children, LSS provides much-needed services for seniors, families and communities in crisis:
LSS Disaster Response is prepared to step in to help families and communities in the aftermath of natural disasters – tornadoes, hurricanes, floods or wildfires – in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. In 2013, more than 3,250 individuals were offered financial assistance for basic needs in the short term and case management and spiritual care over the longer term. LSSDR works continually to assure the program is ready to meet the needs if and when disaster strikes.
In Lubbock, Neighborhood House helps individuals and families during times of economic hardship by providing emergency assistance including food vouchers, utility vouchers, hygiene products and prescriptions. In 2013, Neighborhood House provided assistance to more than 21,000 people.
Health for Friends Clinic
Also in Lubbock, Health for Friends Clinic offers quality services for people who might not be able to otherwise have access to health care because they cannot afford health insurance. In 2013, 1,200 patients were treated during 7,255 patient visits. All services are provided at no cost to those who qualify.