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Implementation of Sponsor Screening and Followup Calls for Unaccompanied Children

The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), a program office within HHS's Administration for Children and Families, experienced a surge of unaccompanied children in the spring of 2021. As a result of this surge, ORR experienced difficulties 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 of ORR's sponsor screening and followup calls during this surge for children at all facility types. This evaluation will: (1) determine to what extent ORR-funded facilities took required steps to help ensure the safe release of unaccompanied children through sponsor screening and followup calls, and (2) identify ways in which ORR could better ensure the safe release of unaccompanied children to sponsors.

Announced or Revised Agency Title Component Report Number(s) Expected Issue Date (FY)
Revised Administration for Children and Families Implementation of Sponsor Screening and Followup Calls for Unaccompanied Children Office of Evaluation and Inspections OEI-07-21-00250 2024