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: In long term foster care, unaccompanied children without family reunification options but who have the possibility of receiving legal immigration protections, are provided ongoing case management support as they integrate into their new communities. The services provided by LIRS' network of partners include case management services, access to medical and mental health services, access to educational program and legal services, in addition to programming that provides youth with the opportunity to develop independent living skills. The unaccompanied children continue to receive these services until they are reunified with a qualified family member or are granted immigration protections and are able to transfer to the unaccompanied refugee minor (URM) program. Through collaborative efforts and strategic planning, LIRS places URM in family foster care, group homes and semi-independent living settings through a network of URM provider agencies. LIRS works with affiliates who provide culturally appropriate services to support the acculturation and integration of children into communities all over the country. Partner agencies provide services in parity with domestic foster care programs, but tailor programs to meet the unique needs of refugee and migrant children. Most URM enter the program between 15 and 17 years of age and are provided the option of receiving the support of a foster family or working towards independence in a group home setting. Both options allow each URM to receive case management services, including educational services from high school enrollment to college prep. Through this program, migrant and refugee children are prepared for independence in healthy situations that foster resiliency, permanency, and integration through sustainable long-term relationships in welcoming communities. Depending on the state, URM are able to remain in the program until their 21st or 22nd birthday.

Reporting to the Associate Director for LTFC and URM, the LTFC and URM Intern will collaborate with the Senior Program Officer for LTFC and Program Officer for URM for the assignment of duties. The purpose of this role is to support the LTFC and URM networks with trainings and resources that contribute to the technical assistance given by LIRS. 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/unaccompanied refugee minors. Assist Program Officers in network coordination, communication, and peer learning throughout the network.
  • Assist Program Officer in 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.
  • Assist Program Officer in development of training resources to address areas such as: child welfare best practices; family reunification for refugee youth; legal immigration relief options for migrant children and youth; cultural training for populations in care.
  • Assist Program Officer to network and establish relationships with national organizations representing cultures and religions of children and youth in care for cultural connection, education and advocacy purposes.
  • Assist Program Officer in URM data reporting, tracking and validation.
  • 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.
  • Experience in social services/child welfare 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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