PLATINUM2024

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)

aka Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)   |   Washington, DC   |  www.supportkind.org

Mission

In the U.S. and internationally, KIND meets children where they are. We are global experts on the rights and needs of unaccompanied and separated children and the laws, policies, and practices that affect them. In response to multiple dangers faced by unaccompanied and separated immigrant and refugee children and the need for a holistic, long-term approach, KIND works to address current challenges head-on, create systemic change, and provide critical services at all points during a child’s journey.

Ruling year info

2008

President

Ms. Wendy Young Esq.

Main address

1201 L Street, NW 2nd Floor

Washington, DC 20005 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

KIND INC

EIN

26-2763038

NTEE code info

Legal Services (I80)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The number of children on the move has increased substantially over the past five years, many of them traveling unaccompanied. In FY17, U.S. authorities encountered 41,546 unaccompanied children at our Mexican border; in FY22 to-date, U.S. authorities have encountered 126,655 unaccompanied children. Children migrate fleeing situations of danger and vulnerability in their communities, including economic insecurity, political instability and conflict, loss of homes and livelihoods due to climate disaster, gender-based violence, violence by gangs and other organized criminal groups, and lack of access to education, health and mental health care. Achieving legal immigrant status is a vital first step towards protecting the health and wellbeing of unaccompanied children in the U.S. Without the free legal representation that KIND provides, it is impossible for a child to successfully navigate the U.S. immigration system.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Legal Services

KIND provides free legal representation to unaccompanied immigrant children, using trauma-informed, culturally-sensitive approaches. To maximize our impact, clients may be matched with either KIND’s in-house attorneys or a pro bono attorney from KIND’s robust network of more than 730 law firms, corporations, law schools and bar associations partners. No immigration law experience is necessary to serve as a pro bono attorney; KIND’s dedicated team trains and mentors volunteers throughout the duration of their cases. KIND’s full legal representation includes seeking all humanitarian immigration relief for which a child may be eligible, such as SIJS, asylum, T and U visas, as well as removal (deportation) defense in Immigration Court. In calendar year 2021, KIND provided legal representation to over 6,100 unaccompanied children, approximately 30% of which were represented by in-house attorneys and 70% by pro bono lawyers.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Immigrants and migrants
Refugees and displaced people

Migrant children’s successful integration into new communities and their ability to live healthy lives is rooted in increased access to culturally and trauma-informed social services. Through an interdisciplinary approach, KIND’s Social Services Program helps migrant children access resources, foster and strengthen networks of support, and invest in their overall wellbeing. KIND provides and coordinates social services with local partner agencies to holistically meet our clients’ needs, including food, housing, physical and mental health care, support for pregnant or parenting teens, resources for LGBTQI+ clients, trauma-informed creative expression opportunities, and more. KIND’s social services coordinators, located at every field office, are trained child welfare professionals who work to assess individual needs, intervene in crisis situations, and provide referrals to local services.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Immigrants and migrants
Refugees and displaced people

KIND’s Family Separation team works to identify and reunite children forcibly separated from their parents as a result of the 2018 Zero Tolerance policy, and today also works at the border helping to prepare children and their caretakers for separation as they enter at U.S. at ports of entry, including collaboration with border agents to mitigate long-term separations.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants
Refugees and displaced people
Children and youth

KIND has partnered with local civil society organizations to provide safe return and long-term reintegration support to children returning to Guatemala and Honduras, demonstrating that targeted investments and a holistic approach can help children reunify safely and sustainably. KIND’s Reintegration Program uses a trauma-informed, child-centered model of intensive case management to address the driving factors that led a child to migrate as well as the far-reaching impacts of migration, extended detention, and separation from family members. This work involves both providing direct assistance to children and their family members, as well as advocacy with the U.S. government to increase resources for reintegration programming and to make the repatriation process child friendly. KIND launched the Gender and Migration Initiative (GMI) in 2015 to prevent and address GBV against migrant children. KIND also carries out research and encourages the U.S. government to invest in GBV prevention.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants
Children and youth
Refugees and displaced people

KIND is addressing needs at Mexico’s northern and southern borders through a multi-pronged approach: by meeting the legal, protection, and psychosocial needs of unaccompanied and separated children traveling through Mexico or trapped at Mexico’s southern or northern borders and simultaneously working with Mexican and U.S. authorities to foster systemic change. KIND currently has offices in Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, and Tapachula. KIND provides legal assistance at the U.S.-Mexico border and accompanies individuals to ports of entry, which involves providing each unaccompanied child with trauma-informed support and legal orientation, and legally representing each child before border authorities. This ensures an orderly and streamlined process that is fully coordinated in partnership with U.S. border officials. KIND carries out trainings and advocacy with child protection authorities and other government actors in high migration areas to guarantee the rights and protection of children.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Immigrants and migrants
Refugees and displaced people

KIND has worked in Europe since 2014 and has developed a pro bono network based on our U.S. model to secure durable solutions for migrating children. KIND’s work in Europe provides unaccompanied children with access to legal protection and long-term status and enables children to reunify with their families. KIND works with Child Circle in Brussels, European Lawyers in Lesvos (ELIL) in Greece, and Consiglio Italiano per Rifugiati Onlus (CIR) in Italy. We have pivoted to respond to the war in Ukraine by providing legal information and assistance at three locations in Poland/ Warsaw; Modlinska reception centre, Ptak reception centre and at a UNCHR/Unicef Blue Dot. Through a local partner, we trained 7 pro bono lawyers motivated to help fleeing Ukrainians. We've also partnered with PoMA, a mental health organization experienced working with children of war and conflict. We have served 859 people of which 108 are children accompanied by a parent/caregiver, and 8 are unaccompanied children

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants
Refugees and displaced people
Children and youth

KIND’s advocacy with the Biden Administration transition team led to unaccompanied children being exempt from the Title 42 expulsion policy. This policy change restored the ability of unaccompanied children to request protection in the U.S. and has prevented the expulsion of thousands of children to dangerous conditions in Mexico or their countries of origin. Additionally, KIND was instrumental in ensuring the Administration did not implement final regulations related to the Flores settlement that would have dramatically reduced protection for children in government custody. We have utilized a bipartisan approach to garner support for an array of protections. Our pragmatic and solution-oriented approach to policy and advocacy results in regularly being tapped as a subject matter expert on issues related to the Family Reunification Task Force, Afghan unaccompanied children, and the restarting of the Central American Minors Program.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Immigrants and migrants
Refugees and displaced people

Where we work

Awards

Outstanding Child Focused Nonprofit Program 2022

Children at Risk

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients assisted with legal needs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Immigrants and migrants, Children and youth

Related Program

Legal Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of clients working with an attorney during the year.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Legal Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of pro bono partners, including law firms, corporate legal teams, bar associations, law schools, and solo practitioners

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

To make our vision and mission a reality, KIND has embraced the following priorities for the next two years.
Goal 1: Improve Migrant Children’s Access to Protection in the U.S.
Goal 2: Enhance Programming to Protect Children on the Move Globally
Goal 3: Address Root Causes of Migration
Goal 4: Demonstrate Leadership on Child Protection through Policy, Advocacy, and Awareness Raising

Goal 1: Improve Migrant Children’s Access to Protection in the U.S.
KIND’s goal is to improve access to protection in the United States for children on the move. Through direct services and advocacy, we will increase the rate of legal representation for unaccompanied children, enhance their stability and well-being by attaching them to critical social services, and promote and defend policies that provide those children with access to humanitarian and legal protection.

Goal 2: Enhance Programming to Protect Children on the Move Globally
KIND’s goal is to protect unaccompanied children migrating through Europe, Mexico, and Central America through our direct services and advocacy, and by leveraging our international networks. We provide children with information about their rights and legal process, and develop relationships with stakeholders—through trainings, technical assistance, presentations, technology, and social media—so that more children receive the legal information they need. KIND seeks to strengthen child protection systems and capacity in Central America, Mexico, and Europe by educating government officials and international organizations and building strategic partnerships to intensify advocacy and inform policy.

Goal 3: Address Root Causes of Migration
KIND’s goal is to address the root causes of child migration in Central America through strategic programming in high-migration communities on gender-based violence prevention and healthy relationships and gender norms; empowerment workshops for girls and young women; and helping local civil-society organizations advance pragmatic solutions, such as economic independence for Indigenous girls and youth. KIND advocates for and leverages U.S. federal aid to address the root causes of child migration and works with international and local NGOS and major corporations on cross-sector collaboratives to create opportunities for children and youth to remain and thrive in their home countries. We use our networks in Guatemala and Honduras to enhance the well-being of children at risk of migration and reduce the number of children forced to flee.

Goal 4: Demonstrate Leadership on Child Protection through Policy, Advocacy, and Awareness Raising
KIND’s goal is to be increasingly recognized by policymakers as a thought leader on the rights and needs of migrating children. We seek to strengthen our reputation as an expert in the field and effective global leader by demonstrating, through our innovative operational work, effective domestic and international approaches to immigration, and using our communications and fundraising platforms to share our clients’ experiences and raise awareness of the challenges they face and their successes when given a chance.

KIND is the only nonprofit organization in the country that focuses exclusively on unaccompanied immigrant children’s legal rights. With almost fifteen years of experience serving unaccompanied children, KIND is uniquely situated to address the needs of children as they move through countries of transit to their final destinations. As the largest provider of legal services to unaccompanied children in the U.S., KIND strives to provide continuity of care for children, starting from the time we encounter them, through their cross-border journeys, to providing legal and social services support in their final destinations. Since 2009, KIND has accepted referrals for more than 30,000 children to determine immigration legal needs. To meet significant and consistently increasing demand, KIND’s 380+ staff nationwide have built lasting relationships nationally with more than 730 partnering law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, bar associations, and solo practitioners. In 2021 alone, KIND leveraged an estimated $100 million in pro bono legal services nationwide. Headquartered in Washington, DC, KIND operates fourteen field offices across the United States, and has programming in Mexico, Central America, and Europe.

KIND has succeeded in helping raise the visibility of the plight of unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children, increased the legal representation resources available to them and helped thousands more children to access justice. However, the number of unaccompanied children fleeing danger and abuse in their home countries and seeking protection in the U.S. continues to grow. Despite the increased capacity of KIND and other legal service providers, thousands of children remain unrepresented in their deportation proceeding, thus losing their chance for a fair hearing and risking being returned to situations of danger. KIND will continue to strive to ensure that no child stands alone in immigration court. This i paired with this administrations attacks on the safeguards of children makes our work more crucial than ever.

Many of our child clients have suffered trauma, including sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), on their journeys to the U.S. All experience the stresses of adapting to new living situations, languages and schools. To help them access the medical, mental health, education and other critical services they need to fully participate in their immigration legal cases, KIND has added Social Services Coordinators (SSC) to all 10 offices, and is planning in continue to expand and grow in effectiveness and impact.

KIND's policy team provided technical assistance in the drafting of the Fair Day in Court for Kids Act of 2016 legislation, which recognizes that the best way to ensure fair and just decisions for unaccompanied children in their immigration proceedings is by ensuring that they have counsel by their side. We need to ensure that more members of Congress, particularly those in leadership positions and ranking members of committees of jurisdiction, show support

Most of KIND's advocacy work to date has focused on policy at the federal level. Increasingly, however, states and localities are playing an active part in the protection of unaccompanied children. It is essential to the protection of our child clients that we educate and gain the support of officials at the state and local level as well as at the national level.

KIND partners with 14 law firms and over 20 non-profit organizations in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico to address the root causes of migration and build a regional response that protects children at all stages of their journeys toward safety and a productive life. But more resources are required to combat the violence, insecurity, extreme poverty that propel so many children to make the dangerous trip in search of safety and protection in the U.S.

In Guatemala, we demonstrated that young people can be helped to reunify safely with their families upon return. But thousands of children are being deported back to their home countries by Mexico and the U.S. and KIND is working to expand this work in Guatemala and to replicate it in Honduras and El Salvador to help more returning migrants.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)

Board of directors
as of 01/29/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Brad Smith

Microsoft Corporation

Pamela Passman

CREATe.org

Sonia Nazario

Kathleen Newland

Migration Policy Institute

Ronald Schechter

Arnold & Portner LLP

Maya Ajmera

Society for Science & the Public (SSP)

Rafael Borrás

A.T. Kearney

Aurora Cassirer

Troutman Sanders, LLP

Kurt Hansson

Paul Hastings LLP

Gary M. Wingens

Lowenstein Sandler LLP

Robert Cundall

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Elpidio Villarreal

GlaxoSmithKline.

Catalina Joos Vergara

O’Melveny & Myers

Mark Srulowitz

Brookfield Asset Management

Beth Henderson

Microsoft

Rachel Brass

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Claudia Romo Edelman

We Are All Human

Andrew Plepler

Bank of America

Kathleen Pike

Columbia University

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/12/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/14/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.