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Unaccompanied Children

Last Updated: September 27, 2022

Toolkit: Insights from OIG's Work on the Office of Refugee Resettlement's Efforts To Care for Unaccompanied Children

Since responsibility for unaccompanied children was transferred to HHS by the Homeland Security Act of 2002, OIG has provided oversight of the Unaccompanied Children (UC) Program.* OIG is charged with overseeing programs and operations in HHS, including the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), to combat fraud and abuse in those programs and promote their efficiency and effectiveness. To accomplish this, OIG employs an array of oversight tools: investigations, evaluations, and audits. Read More

OIG has completed work examining various aspects of the UC Program. For example, we audited grantee expenditures and assessed their internal controls for administering UC Program funds. We also examined whether ORR grantees met safety standards for the care and release of children in their custody. When OIG has identified possible criminal misconduct, we have investigated it or referred it to our Federal or local law enforcement partners as appropriate. All of these efforts have one unifying purpose—to promote the protection of children in the Department's care.

*Before March 2021, the Unaccompanied Children (UC) Program was named the Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) Program.

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Title Date Keywords
Operational Challenges Within ORR and the ORR Emergency Intake Site at Fort Bliss Hindered Case Management for Children OEI-07-21-00251 09-27-2022 facility, facilities, providers, shelters, contractors, coordination, DHS, Homeland, Customs, Border, CBP, detention, temporary, tent, ICF, influx care, Texas, training, communication, field guidance, UC Portal search, retaliation, whistleblower, care, health, mental health, safety, employees, staff, case managers, hiring, retaining, trauma, placement, COVID-19, quarantine, sponsors, distress, anxiety, panic attacks, screenings
Office of Refugee Resettlement's Influx Care Facility and Emergency Intake Sites Did Not Adequately Safeguard Unaccompanied Children From COVID-19 A-06-21-07002 06-22-2022 Facility, facilities, contractors, coordination, semi-permanent, semi permanent, temporary, ICF, influx care, EIS, emergency intake site, unlicensed, California, Texas, Michigan, DHS, Homeland, CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, providers, care, health, safety, employees, staff, volunteers, COVID-19, coronavirus, pandemic, communicable, disease, communicable disease, outbreak, quarantine, isolation, isolate, emergency planning, emergency preparedness, preparedness, planning, Long Beach, Long Beach Convention Center, Pomona Fairplex, Pomona, Fairplex, San Diego, San Diego Convention Center, Starr Commonwealth, Starr, Commonwealth, Carrizo Springs, Carrizo, Delphi, Donna, Dimmit, Fort Bliss, Fort, El Paso, Joint Base Lackland, Lackland, San Antonio, Midland, Pecos, testing, COVID-19 testing, COVID-19 tests, tests, test results, contracts, contact tracing, mask wearing, physical distancing, symptom screening, temperature checks
HHS Should Improve Internal Coordination Regarding Unaccompanied Children OEI-BL-20-00670 05-04-2022 Coordination, DHS, Homeland, Customs, Border, CBP, ICF, Influx care, Care, COVID-19, Communicable, Disease, Communicable disease, Quarantine, Planning, Title 42, Deport, Deportation
Office of Refugee Resettlement Generally Ensured That Selected Care Provider Facilities for Its Unaccompanied Children Program Complied With Federal Emergency Preparedness Requirements A-04-20-02025 02-14-2022 facility, facilities, providers, shelters, DHS, Homeland, emergency, emergency planning, emergency preparedness, preparedness, emergency event, emergency contact, care, disaster, evacuation, transfer, medical, safety, safety planning
Characteristics of Separated Children in ORR's Care: June 27, 2018–November 15, 2020 OEI-BL-20-00680 11-12-2021 separated, separated children, border, detention, DHS, Homeland, criminal, criminal history, criminal background checks, zero-tolerance, zero tolerance, family separation, reunify, reunifications, sponsors, release, discharge
Toolkit: Insights from OIG's Work on the Office of Refugee Resettlement's Efforts To Care for Unaccompanied Children OEI-09-21-00220 05-25-2021 criminal history, welfare, mental health, safety, employees, staff, significant incident reports, SIRs, physical security, influx care, emergency intake, health, COVID-19, pandemic, coronavirus, DHS, homeland, coordination, reunification, reunify, screenings, criminal background checks, surge, transfer, planning, sponsors, infectious, communicable disease, hiring, retaining, release, discharge, telehealth
The Office of Refugee Resettlement Did Not Award and Manage the Homestead Influx Care Facility Contracts in Accordance With Federal Requirements A-12-20-20001 12-18-2020 Homestead, facilities, facility, shelters, providers, ICF, Biscayne, Comprehensive, CHS, contractors, No-Bid, sole source, Federal Acquisition Regulation, FAR, Brookstone, General Dynamics, SWK, no bid, Southwest Key, temporary, emergency
Office of Refugee Resettlement Ensured That Selected Care Providers Were Prepared To Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic A-04-20-02031 11-06-2020 safety planningc, COVID-19, pandemic, coronavirus, emergency preparedness, preparedness, emergency planning, planning, quarantine, communicable, disease, communicable disease, outbreak, health, facilities, facility, providers, shelters, PPE, CDC, telehealth, infectious, cleanliness
Youth For Tomorrow - New Life Center, Inc., an Administration for Children and Families Grantee, Did Not Comply With All Applicable Federal Policies and Requirements A-03-16-00250 09-29-2020 criminal history, Virginia, shelters, providers, facility, facilities, allowable, expenditures, costs, claim, funds, transactions, criminal background checks, screenings, employees, staff, unallowable, care, release, discharge, Bristow, safety, health, salary, salaries, compensation
Southwest Key Programs Failed To Protect Federal Funds Intended for the Care and Placement of Unaccompanied Alien Children A-06-17-07004 09-16-2020 Texas, Arizona, California, allowable, costs, expenditures, SWK, unallowable, claim, funds, grantee, transactions, facility, facilities, providers, shelters, rental, capital leases, GAAP, less-than-arm's-length, less than arm's length, salary, salaries, compensation
The Office of Refugee Resettlement's Incident Reporting System Is Not Effectively Capturing Data To Assist Its Efforts To Ensure the Safety of Minors in HHS Custody OEI-09-18-00430 06-17-2020 Safety, employees, staff, facilities, facility, providers, shelters, significant incident reports, sexual assaults, SIRs, sexual abuse, assaults, abuse, physical, physical abuse, harassment, sexual harassment, national
Unaccompanied Alien Children Program Care Provider Facilities Do Not Include All Required Security Measures in their Checklists OEI-05-19-00210 06-17-2020 Facilities; facility, providers, shelters, safety, employees, staff, inspections, national, physical, physical security
Communication and Management Challenges Impeded HHS's Response to the Zero-Tolerance Policy OEI-BL-18-00510 03-05-2020 criminal history, Zero tolerance, Zero-tolerance, family separation, separated, DHS, CBP, coordination, reunifications, Homeland, Customs, Border, reunify, national, coordination, DOJ, Justice, planning, facilities, facility, providers, sheltersx, criminal background checks
Care Provider Facilities Described Challenges Addressing Mental Health Needs of Children in HHS Custody (OEI-09-18-00431) 09-03-2019 Zero tolerance, separated, mental health clinician, mental health, clinicians, trauma, employees, staff, safety, facilities, facility, providers, shelters, sponsors, reunifications, Zero-tolerance, reunify, family separation, national, hiring, retaining, transfer
Unaccompanied Alien Children Care Provider Facilities Generally Conducted Required Background Checks but Faced Challenges in Hiring, Screening, and Retaining Employees (A-12-19-20001) 09-03-2019 criminal history, Employees, staff, screenings, criminal background checks, ratios, shelters, facility, facilities, providers, case managers, mental health clinicians, waivers, staffing, national, safety
Southwest Key Did Not Have Adequate Controls in Place To Secure Personally Identifiable Information Under the Unaccompanied Alien Children Program (A-18-18-06001) 08-15-2019 Texas, Arizona, California, PII, information system security, SWK, technology, grantee, providers, facility, facilities, shelters
Southwest Key Programs Did Not Always Comply With Health and Safety Requirements For The Unaccompanied Alien Children Program (A-06-17-07005) 08-15-2019 criminal history, providers, facility, facilities, shelters, Texas, California, Arizona, care, release, discharge, reunifications, criminal background checks, screenings, sponsors, employees, staff, SWK, ratios, grantee, video, hazards, hazardous, cleanliness
The Children's Village, Inc., an Administration for Children and Families Grantee, Did Not Always Comply with Applicable Federal and State Policies and Requirements (A-02-16-02013) 04-26-2019 criminal history, safety, criminal background checks, screenings, sponsors, employees, staff, care, release, discharge, allowable, expenditures, drawdowns, New York, unallowable, costs, claim, funds, providers, facility, facilities, shelters, transactions, Dobbs Ferry, salary, salaries, compensation, hazards, hazardous
Lincoln Hall Boys' Haven, an Administration for Children and Families Grantee, Did Not Always Comply With Applicable Federal and State Policies and Requirements (A-02-16-02007) 02-11-2019 criminal history, safety, release, discharge, criminal background checks, screenings, employees, staff, care, allowable, expenditures, costs, State, New York, unallowable, claim, funds, providers, facility, facilities, shelters, transactions, Lincolndale, fire, health, video
Separated Children Placed in Office of Refugee Resettlement Care (OEI-BL-18-00511) 01-17-2019 Zero tolerance, Zero-tolerance, family separation, DHS, CBP, coordination, reunifications, reunify, Homeland, Customs, Border, Ms. L, Ms L, ICE, release, discharge, national, placement, transfer
BCFS Health and Human Services Did Not Always Comply With Federal and State Requirements Related to the Health and Safety of Unaccompanied Alien Children (A-06-17-07007) 12-06-2018 criminal history, sponsors, criminal background checks, screenings, employees, staff, care, release, discharge, Texas, facility, facilities, shelters, providers, foster, grantee, San Antonio, fire, video
The Tornillo Influx Care Facility: Concerns About Staff Background Checks and Number of Clinicians on Staff (A-12-19-20000) 11-27-2018 criminal history, tent, Texas, unlicensed, ratios, criminal background checks, screenings, employees, staff, semi- permanent, waivers, temporary, emergency, memorandum, grantee, shelters, facility, facilities, providers, care, BCFS, mental health, ICF
Florence Crittenton Services of Orange County, Inc., Did Not Always Claim Expenditures in Accordance With Federal Requirements (A-09-17-01002) 10-15-2018 California, allowable, expenditures, costs, shelters, facility, claim, unallowable, funds, Fullerton, providers, facilities, shelters, transactions, grantee, salary, salaries, compensation
Heartland Human Care Services, Inc., Generally Met Safety Standards, but Claimed Unallowable Rental Costs (A-05-16-00038) 09-24-2018 criminal history, Illinois, providers, facility, criminal background checks, screenings, sponsors, employees, staff, care, release, discharge, allowable expenditures, costs, shelters, facilities, claim, unallowable, transactions, less-than-arm's-length leases, rental, funds, Chicago, grantee, Morse, Chase, Giles, ratios, less than arm's length, health, video
Florence Crittenton Services of Orange County, Inc., Did Not Always Meet Applicable Safety Standards Related to Unaccompanied Alien Children (A-09-16-01005) 06-18-2018 criminal history, California, providers, facility, criminal background checks, screenings, sponsors, employees, staff, care, facilities, shelters, Fullerton, grantee, release, discharge, health
BCFS Health and Human Services Did Not Always Comply With Federal Requirements Related to Less-Than-Arm's-Length Leases (A-06-16-07007) 02-20-2018 Texas, allowable, expenditures, costs, transactions, leases, claim, less-than-arm's length, unallowable, funds, Baytown, Raymondville, San Antonio, rental, grantee, providers, facility, facilities, shelters, foster, less than arm's length
Office of Refugee Resettlement Unaccompanied Alien Children Grantee Review-His House (A-04-16-03566) 12-04-2017 criminal history, Florida, providers, facility, facilities, shelters, criminal background checks, allowable, expenditures, costs, claim, safety, sponsors, placement, post-release, postrelease, post release, funds, care, Miami, unallowable, transactions, payroll, screenings, discharge, health
HHS's Office of Refugee Resettlement Improved Coordination and Outreach to Promote the Safety and Well-Being of Unaccompanied Alien Children (OEI-09-16-00260) 07-31-2017 criminal history, DHS, coordination, reunifications, reunify, sponsors, screenings, Homeland, postrelease, post release, post-release, release, discharge, placement, MOA, memorandum, trafficking, TVPRA, criminal background checks, transfer
Division of Unaccompanied Children's Services: Efforts to Serve Children (OEI-07-06-00290) 03-06-2008 DHS, coordination, Homeland, reunifications, reunify, sponsors, screenings, postrelease, post-release, post release, release, Flores, intake, placement, care, MOA, memorandum, background checks, discharge, transfer, detention