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Safe and Efficient Release of Unaccompanied Children to Sponsors

The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), a program office of HHS's Administration for Children and Families, experienced a surge of unaccompanied children in spring 2021. As a result of this surge, ORR experienced difficulties in increasing its capacity to care for unaccompanied children; ORR-funded facilities also faced challenges in recruiting and retaining staff. The need to release unaccompanied children to fully vetted sponsors during a surge may have created vulnerabilities that could have put the children's safety at risk. To address this concern, we will conduct an evaluation of the implementation and efficiency of ORR's sponsor screening and followup processes at facilities during this surge, including the newly established intake and influx centers. This evaluation will determine to what extent: (1) proper steps were taken to safely release unaccompanied children to sponsors and (2) these processes were completed in an efficient manner.

Announced or Revised Agency Title Component Report Number(s) Expected Issue Date (FY)
June 2021 Administration for Children and Families Safe and Efficient Release of Unaccompanied Children to Sponsors Office of Evaluation and Inspections OEI-07-21-00250 2022