International Response to Family Separation

Reunifying Separated Families Across Borders

In summer of 2018, KIND’s International Programs team launched the Central American Separated Families Reunification Project to provide a transnational response to the complex cases of the family separation crisis. Many parents are not only forcibly separated from their children, but also deported to their countries of origin, leaving their children behind in the U.S. Building on KIND’s relationships in Central America, the project reunites children with their parents in the country of origin or the United States, provides psychosocial services to reunified families to restore family bonds, and identifies potential solutions for deported separated families with protection needs. As of December 2019, KIND has assisted over 200 families with cross border separation cases.

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KIND's Trip to the US-Mexico Border

KIND Vice President of Regional Policy and Initiatives, Lisa Frydman, recounts the team’s findings from their visit to Ciudad Juárez.

LIVE: Last week, KIND staff traveled to the border and found desperate immigrants and refugees. Conditions are undeniably horrific and unsafe.Lisa Frydman, our Vice President our Regional Policy and Initiatives, debriefs the trip and details what you can do to help protect migrant and refugee children from this abuse.

Posted by Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) on Thursday, August 1, 2019

Family Reunification Project FAQs

Through this project KIND:

  • Counsels deported parents harmed by family separation in 2017 and 2018 to determine preferences regarding reunification with their children, and assists in family reunification efforts where the parent has been deported and the child remains in the United States
  • Facilitates and provides logistical support for reunification of returning separated children with their parents in Central America
  • Provides ongoing psychosocial support to reunified separated families in Central America to heal familial bonds
  • Works to identify and assist newly separated families where the parent may still be in the United States or has recently been deported
  • Screens deported parents and deported separated families for protection needs and identifies potential regional solutions

To refer a child or family for support services, please contact Laura Just at 

KIND’s partners on the ground; in Honduras: CASM (Mennonite Social Action Committee) and Casa Alianza; in Guatemala: ASOCIACIÓN POP NO’J and ECAP (Equipo de Estudios Comunitarios y Acción Psicosocial)