Services for Unaccompanied Children (UC) 6: Service Array
The program provides children with a wide array of structured, developmentally and age appropriate services and supports that are culturally responsive and tailored to meet their social and emotional needs, strengths, and interests.
Services should be tailored to meet and be sensitive to the needs of a diverse population of children including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or gender non-conforming and those who may be questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity (LGBTQ).
Unaccompanied Children Services support youth safety and well-being, facilitate family involvement and provide necessary supports to children seeking physical and emotional safety and legal protection.
Service agreements with community partners, as applicable
Interviews may include:
Review case records
Verify employment of physician or qualified medical practitioner either directly or via contract
Verify employment of trained clinical professional
A qualified medical practitioner conducts a comprehensive medical examination within 48 hours of admission for all children to:
collect information regarding the child’s medical history;
perform a general health assessment;
screen for infectious diseases; and
evaluate their ability to participate in athletic activities, if appropriate.
Unaccompanied children must receive a complete medical examination within 48 hours of admission, unless they were recently examined at another facility. In these circumstances, the organization needs to obtain documentation and include all medical information in the child’s case record.
Qualified medical practitioner refers to a licensed physician, registered nurse, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, or other healthcare professional that is permitted by law and the organization to provide medical care and services without direction or supervision.
Children have access to appropriate health care services including:
routine medical and dental care;
family planning services;
emergency health services;
administration of prescribed medications and special diets; and
behavioral interventions, as appropriate.
The organization offers age-appropriate educational instruction on-site that is based on:
an educational needs assessment; and
a plan that is tailored to the individual academic development, literacy level, and linguistic ability of each child.
While residing in Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) placement settings (versus long-term foster care), Unaccompanied Children do not attend public school. Programs may coordinate with local public school districts that provide teachers and/or educational materials as needed.
Note:The Office for Refugee Resettlement requires the educational assessment to happen within 72-hours of a UC’s admission into the facility and the children receive a minimum of six hours of structured education Monday through Friday, through the year. Learning materials must reflect cultural diversity and sensitivity and include a variety of age-appropriate subjects.
The program provides children with:
culturally responsive services that are individually tailored to their age, developmental level, social and emotional needs, strengths, and interests;
opportunities to interact with peers in a positive, respectful, and cooperative manner;
mechanisms to formally and informally express feedback including dissatisfaction with aspects of care; and
predictability and structure.
Social and community connections are encouraged by providing children opportunities to participate in:
recreational and leisure activities;
educational and independent life skills training;
religious observances in the faith group or spirituality of choice;
culturally-appropriate events consistent with his or her heritage; and
group activities where they can meet, support, and share experiences with peers.
The Office of Refugee Resettlement requires children be allotted recreation and leisure time that includes daily outdoor activity, weather permitting, with at least one hour per day of large muscle activity and one hour of structured leisure time activities (that should not include time spent watching television). Activities should be increased to a total of three hours on days when school is not in session.
The organization provides counseling and support services that include:
at least one individual counseling session per week conducted by a trained clinical professional; and
a minimum of two group counseling sessions per week that focus on acclimating to the program structure, staff, and group living environment.
Individual counseling sessions should focus on addressing the unique developmental and crisis-related needs of the child. The clinical worker should actively engage the child in establishing short-term objectives and reviewing progress towards achieving his or her goals.
Group sessions should involve all children served within the program facility and are conducted in an informal manner. The sessions should allow new children to get acquainted with the rules and structure of the program. The forum also should allow for staff and children to get to learn about one another. During the group sessions, children and staff should have the opportunity to discuss program activities and have a dialogue about any problems or concerns.
Children receive information about legal aid and are connected with appropriate legal services.
The organization offers acculturation and adaptation services to aid in the development of social and interpersonal skills.