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How does HHS assist children who come into the US by themselves?


When children from other countries come into the United States unaccompanied by an adult and without a lawful immigration status in the US the HHS Administration for Children and Families, Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) is responsible for:

  • Coordinating and implementing the care and placement of unaccompanied alien children who are in Federal custody by reason of their immigration status;
  • Making and implementing placement determinations; overseeing the infrastructure and personnel of facilities in which the children reside;
  • Reuniting children with guardians and/ or sponsors, when appropriate;
  • Conducting investigations and inspections of facilities and other entities in which unaccompanied alien children reside.

A full continuum of care is available for these children, including shelter care, foster care, secure settings, and residential treatment, as needed. The majority of children are cared for through a network of shelter care facilities, located in Arizona, Texas, Florida, California, Washington, Illinois, Indiana, and New York. Facilities are state licensed and must meet ORR requirements.

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Last Updated: 04/28/2008