Yolanda came to the U.S. from Liberia when she was only three years old. Yolanda’s parents were missing and it was expected that they had already been brutally murdered during the country’s civil war. She and her brothers, who were not much older than herself, fled. They knew they would be forced to fight as soldiers in the war if they failed to escape.
With no parents to lead her, Yolanda arrived in the United States with only the clothes she was wearing. She knew no English and spoke little of her native language. Over the next few years, with the help of her social worker and supportive foster mom, Yolanda learned English, started school and made new friends. She became familiar with her neighborhood and new home. And although she never forgot about what she experienced in her country, she learned how to cope with the past and look toward her bright new future.
Now Yolanda is 20 years old and working on becoming a registered nurse. She and her foster mom are discussing adoption and Yolanda finally has a place to call home.
The Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program of LSS/NCA assists those children who arrive in America without a family or a legal guardian to care for them. Staff from both the LSS/NCA foster care program and from the refugee services program work together to address these children’s specific and unique needs so they are able to build bright and successful futures.