Bethany Christian Services in East Lansing is opening it’s doors to unattended migrant children with hopes of finding them temporary homes until they can be reunited with their families.
According to The UN Refugee Agency, by the end of 2017, 68.5 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations.
That was an increase of 2.9 million people over the previous year, and the world’s forcibly displaced population remained at a record high.
Many of these people are children facing violence, poverty, sex-trafficking, and being separated from their families all before the age of 12.
Why officials at Bethany Christian Services in East Lansing have decided to take in refugee children to make it into the U.S. without their parents.
Finding them safe, temporary foster homes with the goal of reunifying them with their families later on.
These are children fleeing community violence and unsafe conditions, most officials say from Central America.
The program is new to mid-Michigan but has been around in cities like Grand Rapids since 2012, providing temporary foster homes to more than 500 refugee children each year.
So far, in East Lansing the program has one child in it’s care and officials are looking for your help.
Officials say a typical stay is about 1 to 2 months for each child.
There is a licensing process for foster parents.
The children also receive daily education and behavioral health support to ease their transition in a new country.
There are refugee foster care orientations available this summer.