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Foster Care
Unaccompanied Refugee Minors

Since 1982, CCC has provided safety and shelter to refugee children who are escaping war and persecution and been separated from their parents or guardians. Children in this program have been identified by the United States' Office of Refugee Resettlement and are placed in foster care where they are cared for and safe.

Commonwealth Catholic Charities is one of only two providers in the state of Virginia providing foster care services for Unaccompanied Refugee Minor children. 

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Legal Status

Children and youth in CCC's Unaccompanied Refugee Minor foster care program have been admitted to the United States by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). The program supports youth and provides them with skills to enter adulthood and achieve self-sufficiency. 

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Services 

Unaccompanied refugee children and youth are entitled to the same assistance that is available to all children in foster care in Virginia. Additional services include: medical care, intensive case management, independent living skills training, educational support,  social integration support, cultural and religious preservation, and more. 

Graduation

Starting Fresh

Most of the youth in CCC's Unaccompanied Refugee Minor foster care program graduate from high school and enter college. They remain eligible for foster care until age 21, unlike traditional foster care programs where youth leave the program at age 18. 

Support for foster parents

Children in the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor foster care program have been admitted into the country by the U.S. government are entitled to a number of benefits to help with their care including: medical insurance, dental insurance, and mental health care.

Foster parents receive a monthly stipend to help with the costs of care. Additionally, a dedicated social worker will partner with each family to provide ongoing support, training, and guidance at every step of the foster care journey.

Medical Benefits
Dental Benefits
Mental Health Counseling
Cost of Care
Teamwork

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for refugee foster care?

The federal government has established seven categories of unaccompanied youth who are eligible for URM foster care. 

  • Refugee Minors

  •  Asylee Minors

  • Cuban/Haitian Entrants

  • Survivors of Human Trafficking

  • Inaccurate Age Cases

  • Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) Cases

  • Family Breakdown Cases

What services are available to children through the URM program?  

The URM foster care program includes a comprehensive set of services and financial supports designed to assist youth through their transition process to the United States. These services provide for them while they obtain an education, and prepare them for eventual independence. These services are specially geared towards the needs of foreign born youth, with a focus on blending their cultural identity with their new American environment. The particular services provided include: indirect financial support through the provision of housing, food, clothing and other necessities; educational supports; health, mental health and legal services; intensive case management; cultural and recreation activities; mentoring and life skills training. 

Are unaccompanied refugee and immigrant children ever reunited with their families?  

Although unaccompanied minors are generally long-term foster care placements, programs continue to make attempts to trace family wherever possible. A number of minors have ultimately been able to reunite with family either in the United States or in their country of origin. Similar to children in domestic foster care, family reunification is always a goal when feasible and in the child’s best interest.  

How to become a foster parent 

Foster parents change lives by providing the safety and shelter that an unaccompanied refugee child needs to grow and thrive. 

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