Unaccompanied Alien Children Program

The Unaccompanied Alien Children's program is designed to provide for the care and placement of unaccompanied alien minors who are apprehended in the U.S.

by Homeland Security agents, Border patrol agents, or other federal law enforcement agencies and are taken into care pending resolution of
their claims for relief under U.S.

immigration law or release to parent, adult family members or another responsible adult.

Resolution of their claims may result in release, granting of an immigration status (such as special immigrant juvenile or asylum), voluntary departure, or removal.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2016: In FY 2016, the program continued to provide shelter, staff secure, secure, residential treatment centers, transitional foster care and home study and post release services.

The number of referrals for FY16 has exceeded the FY15 level.

The program issued seven (7) new grants and funded a total of 47 cooperative agreements and awarded 4 emergency shelter contracts.

Fiscal Year 2017: In FY 2017, the program issued over 50 cooperative agreements for shelter, staff secure, secure, residential treatment centers, transitional foster care and home study and post release services.

The program is also expected to issue new contract awards for emergency influx shelter operations, case coordination, national call center and sex abuse hotline.

Fiscal Year 2018: In Fiscal Year 2018, the program is expected to award approximately 10 cooperative agreements for residential services, to replace grants expiring in FY2017 in order to maintain a standard number of bed capacity.

Agency - Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Florence Crittenton Services Of Orange County, Inc. $ 18,773,642   2006-03-012011-02-28
Children And Family Services Corporation $ 5,392,898   2006-03-012011-02-28
Catholic Charities Of The Archdiocese Of Galveston-houston $ 4,041,953   2006-03-012011-02-28
International Educational Services, Incorporated $ 4,914,213   2006-03-012011-02-28
International Educational Services, Incorporated $ 25,918,458   2005-10-012010-09-30
Catholic Charities Of The Archdiocese Of Miami, Inc $ 11,028,218   2005-10-012010-09-30
Pioneer Human Services $ 1,532,418   2004-09-302009-09-29
Children's Village, The $ 4,173,169   2004-09-302009-09-29
Southwest Key Programs, Inc. $ 2,260,003   2004-09-302009-09-29
$ 0   

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: In FY16 the program placed over 59,000 unaccompanied children, a record number of UAC served in the history of the program. The program awarded new contracts for legal services which included funding for paid as well as pro-bono representation of UC in and formerly in ORR custody. The program has published six (6) Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) for Residential shelter capacity and Post Release Services for award in 2017. The program will increase monitoring of programs to ensure compliance with regulations and policy and procedures. Fiscal Year 2017: The fluctuations underscore the unpredictable nature of referrals, which creates serious operational challenges if there is not a mechanism to provide additional resources, if needed. To accommodate the record number of referrals, ORR awarded 5 emergency shelter contracts to support the operations of temporary emergency shelters on federal land parcels to accommodate periods of influx of arrivals. Fiscal Year 2017: In the first and part of the second quarter of FY2017, referrals of UAC continued to be elevated necessitating use of two temporary emergency shelters operated by contractors. Referrals then significantly decreased in the latter half of the second quarter of 2017. There has been a steady increase in referral numbers starting in the third quarter. To maintain a standard level of bed capacity, program awarded over 50 grants for residential services to ensure that capacity is available to accommodate any referrals and services required. Program also intends to award contracts for the emergency influx shelter operations as part of the plan to be able to accommodate any dramatic increase in capacity. The program expects to award contracts for supportive services to UAC and sponsors such as case coordination, national call center and a sex abuse hotline. Fiscal Year 2018: In fiscal year 2018, the program expects referral levels similar to 2017. A set of grant awards for residential bed capacity is expected to expire in 2017 and the program expects to make awards to replace these beds to maintain the standard level of bed capacity currently maintained by the program. Also in 2018, the program will continue to assess the services it provides to UAC to ensure, to maintain and improve its service delivery model.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds may be used only for the purposes set forth in the grant and/or contract.

Services may be provided only to unaccompanied alien children who are referred by the Department of Homeland Security or referred by other federal agencies or departments.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

State and local governments, private non-profit organizations.

Faith-based and private for-profit organizations who can provide state licensed residential capacity or other requisite services.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Beneficiaries are unaccompanied alien children who are in Federal custody by reason of their immigration status.


No Credentials or documentation are required. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is required.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Applications submitted in response to program announcements under this program will undergo a pre-review to determine if applicant is eligible for funding.

Award Procedures

Applications found to be eligible for funding will undergo an evaluation by an independent review panel. In the case of emergency, staff will review on the basis of specific evaluation criteria to determine applicant qualification based upon published review criteria, quality of services to be rendered, and the likelihood of the program success.


Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


Homeland Security Act of 2002, Section 462, Public Law 107-296, 116 Stat. 2202-2205, 6 U.S.C 279; William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, Section 235, Public Law 110-457, 122 Stat. 5074-5082, 8 U.S.C 1232.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 90 to 120 days. The ORR Director may invite applications, if necessary, due to unusual and compelling urgency of unaccompanied alien children apprehended by law enforcement agents at the Department of Homeland Security or referred by other federal agencies or departments. Deadlines for applications are noted in notices of funds of availability. It is anticipated that the approval/disapproval time will not exceed 90 days in urgent situations and will not exceed 120 days in normal application situations.


Not Applicable.


Contingent upon appropriations, grantee performance, and whether continuation of funding is in the best interest of the government.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. This program has no matching requirements. This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Grant and contract awards are made on one to three year cycles and budgeted on an annual basis. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.

Post Assistance Requirements


Final program reports summarizing the activities and accomplishments of the project in relation to the approved goals and objectives are required.

No cash reports are required.

Monthly progress reports of placements are required.

Additional progress reports are required, usually on a quarterly or semi-annual basis, but sometimes more frequently.

Federal Financial Reports (SF-425) are required, usually on a quarterly or semi-annual basis.

Final financial status reports are also required at the end of the project period.

Reporting requirements for contracts are on a monthly basis and as specified in each contact.

ORR conducts programmatic and financial on-site monitoring of grantees for the purpose of ensuring that the grantee's service delivery program and financial management system meet the requirements and standards of the program.

All grantees are monitored at least once every two years by a program monitors review the care provider grantees on site for compliance with ORR policies and procedures, statutory requirements and licensing standards.

Other program staff conduct regular site visits and make recommendations for non-compliance or improvements.

ORR regularly requires reports on a daily, weekly, monthly, semi-annual, and annual basis for a variety of functions.

In the event deficiencies or needs for improvement are indicated, the items are documented through monitoring reports and corrective action plans are required from the grantee.


In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. Periodic audits are made as part of the system of financial management and internal control to meet terms and conditions of grants, contracts, and other agreements. Nonprofit organizations receiving less than $25,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from federal audit requirements, but records must be available for review by appropriate officials of the Federal grantor agency or sub-granting entity.


Grant and contract recipients are required to keep all financial and program reports necessary for program review and audit during the project period and for three years after the end of the project period to ensure that funds have been expended in accordance with the regulations, grant terms, and conditions of this program.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Salaries) FY 16 $160,033,000; FY 17 est $522,804,000; and FY 18 est $338,000,000. (Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements)) FY 16 $642,000,000; FY 17 est $425,196,000; and FY 18 est $610,000,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

In FY 2016, award amounts ranged from $274,600 to $80,745,590. Average of Awards: $14,619,115.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Program announcements can be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr. All inquiries should be directed to the information contact listed below.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Jallyn Sualog Mary E. Switzer Building, 330 C Street SW, Washington, District of Columbia 20201 Email: Jallyn.Sualog@acf.hhs.gov Phone: (202) 401-4997 Fax: (202) 401-1022.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Notice of evaluation criteria for program funds can be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr. Please refer to the Contact section for additional information.

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