The Issues

Children, Youth, and Families

Answering God's call to love and serve, LSA members work to protect and strengthen families, including sheltering those in need from abuse and neglect; working to preserve families, whenever possible; seeking to provide permanent, safe homes for children and youth; and facilitating access to high quality child care, health care, and education. In pursuit of these goals, many LSA members offer a range of programs, including adoptive and foster care services, Early Head Start and Head Start programs, counseling and support services, and programs for homeless youth. LSA supports our members' efforts to ensure that children, youth, and families (CYF) have safe, stable homes and the opportunity to thrive in the community.  Learn more about LSA's CYF policy priorities and advocacy goals.

Older Adults

Currently, 41 million Americans are over the age of 65; this number is expected to double by 2040, when nearly 80 million Americans are projected to be 65 or older. Many of these older adults face economic and health challenges, making them more likely to need long-term services and supports (LTSS). LSA champions person-centered LTSS designed to reach seniors in the setting most appropriate to their needs, including home and community-based services that enhance the dignity, health, and independence of older adults. 

Affordable Housing

LSA members are dedicated to providing safe, affordable, and decent housing. LSA supports the preservation and production of affordable housing for people with low incomes, particularly older adults and people with disabilities. Capital funding and rent assistance should accurately reflect the real costs of housing production and the rental market. LSA believes that people who are without homes should be offered shelter and supportive services to help transition into permanent housing. Shelter and supportive services should be available to all populations, including single adults and adults with children.

Emergency and Disaster Response

LSA recognizes the importance of a well-coordinated disaster response system, and the critical role that key public-private partnerships play in supporting those affected by disaster. Many LSA members across the country provide disaster response and recovery services, including front-line response, disaster case-management, and long-term recovery. In order to leverage the network, build capacity, and better respond to the multiple needs of communities after disasters occur, LSA members formed the LSA Disaster Network. Though this initiative, we are working to more effectively collaborate with the federal government, states, and localities to meet the needs of disaster survivors across America.

Health Care and Behavioral Treatment

LSA supports policies that encourage the provision of and access to affordable, quality care. Amid the evolving health care landscape, LSA recognizes that state, local, and provider flexibility is critical to the effective implementation and long-term administration of the Affordable Care Act, as well as to the development and adoption of innovative models of care. Together with our members, LSA works to identify opportunities to improve the system, including through regulatory and legislative channels.

Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security

Social Security is critical to the economic well-being of older adults and individuals with disabilities, and LSA supports policies that promote program solvency and improved beneficiary access.  As the nation’s largest source of long-term services and supports funding, Medicaid is another critical piece of the safety net. The federal-state program is vital for older adults and persons with disabilities, and adequate Medicaid provider payments are crucial to the provision of the person-centered, quality services these individuals require and deserve. Similarly, Medicare must reimburse care providers in a way that sustains and strengthens the program, and which ensures beneficiary access to quality long-term and post-acute care. LSA believes that Medicaid and Medicare payments must allow providers to deliver quality services innovatively, efficiently, and economically in the setting most appropriate to the individual.

Federal Budget

LSA is one of the largest health and human services networks in the country, serving low-income, vulnerable people of all ages, faiths, and abilities. In order for LSA members to most effectively meet the needs of these populations in whatever place they call home, Congress must adequately fund annually appropriated federal programs in a timely manner. Doing so creates much-needed budgetary certainty for states, localities, and providers; and continuity of care for consumers. Further, LSA urges lawmakers to responsibly replace the sequester with a balanced approach that protects and strengthens the financial and health security of low-income, vulnerable Americans and their families. Learn more about LSA's Federal Budget advocacy here.

Nonprofit Sector

LSA supports policies that seek to advance a dynamic nonprofit sector, and which position LSA members to most effectively answer their call to service. Whether protecting the advocacy rights of nonprofits or promoting tax incentives for charitable giving, LSA is working to strengthen the resiliency of the nonprofit sector, and the corresponding capacity of our members to deliver effective services that meet meaningful needs. 

People with Disabilities

LSA's advocacy for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) is carried out by its Disability Network (LSA-DN). LSA-DN believes that people with ID/DD should be full participants in the community, with the right to determine where they live and work, and how they contribute to society. Individuals with ID/DD should have a real choice about how and where they receive quality supports and services. This means the transformation of the Medicaid structure so that individuals are equally entitled to home and community-based services (HCBS) that meet their individual needs as they are to institutional care. Learn more about LSA-DN here.

Immigration and Refugee Services

LSA looks to its partners at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) for advocacy on issues related to immigrants and refugees. For LIRS staff and supporters, seeking justice for migrants and refugees means bold advocacy to create systemic change in how the United States treats immigrants and refugees. In coalition with other faith-based, service, ethnic, and immigrant rights organizations, LIRS works with the White House, Congress, and federal agencies to promote fair and humane policies that welcome newcomers to the United States. Learn more about LIRS advocacy here.