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Migration Policy Institute Podcasts

MPI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to the study of the movement of people worldwide.

Supporting Unaccompanied Children in the U.S. Communities Where They Live

Posted by migrationpolicy on July 23rd, 2021

Early 2021 saw record-setting numbers of unaccompanied children arriving at the southwest border, accompanied by much public scrutiny over their care while in federal custody. Less attention has been paid, however, to what happens once the children are released from federal custody into the care of family or other sponsors in communities across the United States. While the minors await immigration proceedings, what case management, legal services, and federal follow-up exist? What are local communities doing to support these children and what challenges persist?

This webinar features findings from a recent MPI report examining the process of releasing children to sponsors, the current structure of federal post-release services, and the most significant needs these children and their U.S. sponsors experience. The discussion considered what the recent increase in arrivals means for the children, the communities where they live, and schools they attend. MPI experts, along with representatives from California Department of Social Services, Northern Virginia Family Service, and U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, explored efforts by philanthropic, state, and local actors to address the needs of this population and their communities, what service gaps exist, and key recommendations to improve access to services.

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