The American Bar Association and the Lumos Foundation, an international children’s rights organization founded by “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, have launched a new initiative to provide social work services to migrant children and families seeking safety in the United States.
Under the partnership, the ABA and Lumos will hire two social workers to assess the needs of children who have been reunited with their parents after having been separated from them at the border by U.S. immigration authorities. The social workers will also help those children and their families adjust to life in their new communities and find resources to support them.
More than 2,500 children were separated under the administration’s policy this year, and about 200 have yet to be reunited with their families, including 117 children whose parents had departed the United States as of early November, according to a report to Congress by the Health and Human Services Department.
Most children and families arriving at the southern border are seeking refuge from civil conflict, poverty, violence and political unrest in countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. The ABA and Lumos will combine their legal and social work expertise to assist children fleeing violence in their home countries and seeking a more secure life in the United States.
“This is a perfect melding of two groups that come to the same place from different perspectives,” ABA President Bob Carlson said. “The ABA and Lumos both work hard to protect the most vulnerable among us. Now, for the first time, we will combine our missions and expertise to achieve together what we could never achieve separately.”