Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
  • Programs
  • Baltimore, MD, USA
  • Internship

If you are passionate about transforming communities with a mission-driven organization, then we have the opportunity for you!

Since 1939, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) has offered welcome and hope to refugees. LIRS has transformed lives with the support and hard work of people like you, to welcome the most vulnerable to the United States from sea to shining sea.

We help people seeking safety from persecution in their home countries and reunite families torn apart by conflict. We resettle refugees. We protect vulnerable children who arrive alone in the United States. We advocate for compassion and justice for all migrants.

Widely recognized for our expertise in implementing federal programs on behalf of refugees and migrants in the United States, conducts policy advocacy, and advances the protection and rights of vulnerable migrants.

Headquartered in the beautiful Inner Harbor of downtown Baltimore we provide services nationwide through a network of staff and affiliates. Attracting and retaining the best talent is vital to our continued growth and we are proud to offer an excellent benefits package including medical, dental, vision available the first day of employment, professional development, tuition reimbursement, generous paid time off including 20 days of vacation, 12 days of sick leave, 12 paid holidays PLUS the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, 12 weeks of paid parental leave and up to 12 weeks of fully paid FMLA leave, company 403(b) contribution of 3%, an additional 4% match, Family Building benefits for reproductive procedures, adoption/foster care assistance, and an annual wellness benefit that can be customized to support your personal needs including funding enrichment classes, gym memberships, and healthy eating plans (to name a few) all in an inclusive and progressive environment!

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is a champion for all uprooted people. Please join us as we make a difference in the lives of newcomers.

Program Description: Since 2011, LIRS and its network of community-based child placing partners across the United States have placed over 4,000 unaccompanied children (UC) of all ages, genders, nationalities, sexual orientations, and religious affiliations in transitional foster care (TFC). LIRS has partners providing TFC programs in Michigan, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Tennessee, and Georgia. TFC programs address the safety, wellbeing, and community integration needs of UC while they are in ORR custody. LIRS's TFC affiliates provide services to particularly vulnerable children, such as minors under 12, pregnant/parenting youth, sibling groups, and minors with specialized developmental, mental health, or medical needs. All children in TFC care receive individualized assessments, acculturation and adaptation services, case management, education, weekly group and individual counseling, legal support, mental and medical health care, and access to religious services. LIRS partners pride themselves on finding loving homes and supportive communities for UC while options for family reunification are being explored. Locating culturally appropriate foster parents who can meet the complex needs of UC can be challenging. LIRS, however, has worked diligently to overcome barriers to ensure all UC receive the specialized care they need. Because of their relationship to the community, including faith-based entities, LIRS's network is well-positioned to leverage local connections to increase foster family opportunities for UC. Safe and timely release of UC to sponsors is a primary focus of TFC. LIRS provides partners with guidance to ensure that reunification is appropriate, and caregivers are prepared. By assisting children and sponsors throughout the duration of the custody and reunification process, LIRS promotes healthy family reunification and resiliency for unaccompanied children, families, and communities nationwide.

Position Summary: Reporting to the Associate Director for Foster Care, the Transitional Foster Care Intern will learn about the oversight continuation of care available within the LIRS network. LIRS and its partner agencies provide holistic, and culturally competent services for unaccompanied children and their families. In this position, you will learn how LIRS acts as a liaison between LIRS partner organizations, and federal foster care stakeholders. This position will assist in the effectiveness and quality of services through supportive program management, monitoring, data management, trend analysis and evaluation, training and technical assistance. This position involves close collaboration with the Transitional Foster Care team (Associate Director, Senior Program Officer(s), Program Officers, and Program Assistant(s) to identify trends, opportunities to enhance program services, training needs and implement recommendations for effective quality service delivery. You can expect to carry out established activities and any additional responsibilities which are mutually agreed upon by the student and site supervisor. This is a paid internship.


  • Assist Program Officers in the oversight and administration of Foster Care grants to network partner agencies including child welfare best practice, program management, and compliance with the LIRS cooperative agreement and ORR policies and procedures.
  • Assist Program Officers in the collaboration efforts with Foster Care partners engaged in service provision to unaccompanied children. Assist Program Officers in network coordination, communication, and peer learning throughout the network.
  • Assist Program Officers in providing support and technical assistance to partners related to issues of service delivery, documentation, reporting, LIRS, and child welfare best practices, as well as federal obligations.
  • Assist Program Officers in providing ongoing desk and on-site monitoring to Foster Care Partners to assess program functioning and compliance with state, federal, local standards, as well as to identify trends, service gaps, and evaluate service models.
  • Assist Program Officers in assisting with identifying training needs, program challenges, development of materials, resources, and tools to enhance the delivery of program services in accordance with recognized child welfare standards, LIRS best practices, and Office of Refugee Resettlement policies and procedures implementation.
  • Perform other job-related duties as assigned.


  • Prior experience working with and a strong commitment to the refugee or immigrant community preferred, but not necessary;
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications, including Word and Excel;
  • Ability to multitask and work independently;
  • Ability to engage stakeholders professionally;
  • Strong writing and analytical skills and experience in internet research;
  • Commitment to LIRS's core mission and values and an ability to model those values in relationship with colleagues and partners; commitment to empowering refugees and migrants.

Special Position Requirements:

  • Bilingual in Spanish and English strongly preferred.
  • Must be at least 21 years of age.
  • Must be willing and able to clear a criminal background check for the past 7 years.
  • Must be willing and able to request and clear Child Abuse and Neglect background check in all states lived within previous 5 years, updated yearly.
  • Must be willing and able to obtain FBI fingerprint check.
  • Must obtain a negative TB test.
  • Must have valid driver's license and MVA check free of major infractions for the last 7 years.
  • Must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including a booster shot

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
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