Niños Latinos Unidos (NLU) sprang form the hearts and inspiration of foster parents Fahir Milian and Gurith T. Milian, while in the process of creating a first of its kind foster care agency to cater predominantly to the Latino community. Aware of the acute need for Latino foster homes from their own frustration at having to turn away children that Los Angeles County children social workers were seeking to place with them, they decided to form a Foster Family Agency that would help serve what they believed –and had come to hypothesize– was a growing number of Latino children in need.
Statistics have in fact shown that Latino children make up the largest ethnic group of foster children in Los Angeles County, and that there is a lack of ethnically and linguistically sensitive available homes to care for them. In the past, and even today, Latino foster children have had to be placed in homes that are neither ethnically, nor culturally or even linguistically able to meet their needs, often times with nearly disastrous results. Paradoxically, children who have suffered the trauma of being removed from the home of their parents because of abuse and neglect, suffer further trauma when placed in homes that are unsuited for them.
Mr. Milian and Mrs. Milian once shared a vision of creating an entity that would serve as a pioneer, leader and model for the dependency system, and particularly as it relates to the specialized care of Latino children. Today, their vision has evolved into the creation of an entity in which the many bio-psychosocial needs of children in care, may be met under an NLU multi-disciplinary umbrella of services.