Foster Care


Who We Serve

  • Refugee children

  • Undocumented children

  • Foreign-born child victims of trafficking for sex, labor, or domestic servitude

  • Cuban and Haitian entrant children

  • Children with asylum status

  • Certain children with Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)

  • Children who are abandoned due to a family breakdown or death


What We Do

With support from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, State, and Homeland Security, USCCB/MRS works through a national network of 12 state licensed Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM) foster care programs for the on-going care of these children. Most of these programs are administered through Catholic Charities agencies.  Through the URM program, children are predominantly placed in foster homes, but there are other living arrangements available, including group care or supervised independent living arrangements for older youth. 

To ensure that the best interests of the above populations are considered and protected, our national network provides the following services:

USCCB/MRS Children’s Services Foster Care Staff

  • Review all cases for the best placements within the national network.

  • Refer cases to a URM foster care program that can best meet the child’s needs.

  • Provide technical assistance to the URM programs regarding specific cases, potential populations and programmatic issues.

  • Provide on-site guidance and develop capacity to expand placement options and ensure quality care for future URM cases.

  • Provide national case management oversight and monitoring of certain cases.

  • Represent the URM program network within inter-agency working groups addressing the needs of unaccompanied children

URM Programs

  • Train foster families with cross-cultural experience, interest and sensitivity

  • Intensive case management by bilingual, bicultural staff

  • Indirect financial support for necessities like housing and clothing
  • Assist with immigration legal services

  • Access to health care, including medical care, dental care and mental health services

  • Collaborate with schools and human service providers about the needs of foreign-born youth

  • Tutoring and mentoring

  • Preparation for independent living

  • Mentors to provide mature guidance and develop lasting relationships

  • Peer support through relationships with other foreign-born foster youth


What You Can Do

Learn how you can become a foster parent to an unaccompanied refugee or immigrant minor!  Refugee foster care programs are separate from domestic foster care programs in that they have been developed by agencies with expertise in working with refugees.  Foster families are oriented towards the particular needs of refugee youth.  Contact Children’s Services for more information using the Contact Us form at the upper right..