The primary function of ORR/DCS is to provide temporary shelter care and other related services to UC in ORR custody. The HSA of 2002 §462(g)(2) defines an unaccompanied alien child as a child who:
(A) has no lawful immigration status in the United States;
(B) has not attained 18 years of age; and
(C) with respect to whom—
(i) there is no parent or legal guardian in the
United States; or
(ii) no parent or legal guardian in the United States is available to provide care and physical custody.
Although the UC population generally consists of adolescents 12 to 17 years of age, with males representing a higher percentage of the overall population, ORR is seeking applicants who can provide services for a diverse population of UC of all ages and genders, as well as pregnant and parenting teens. UC come from all over the world, but most are from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico. Unless otherwise specified, successful applicants are expected to provide services for UC from any country.
UC are in the legal custody of the federal government throughout their stay in ORR care but are in the physical custody of the care provider. The length of time that a UC remains in ORR custody must be no longer than necessary to facilitate a safe and timely release. The size of the entire UC population in ORR custody will fluctuate depending on the number of UC the United States Department of Homeland Security refers to ORR for placement and the rate at which UC are discharged from ORR custody.
Shelter care is the initial placement for the majority of UC entering the care and custody of ORR. Shelter care providers (care providers) include state licensed shelters, group homes, and transitional foster care (TFC) providers, with a minimum capacity of 50, who provide 24 hours seven days a week care and services that begin at intakes and end in discharge of UC from care. Applicants can apply for basic shelter care, group home, and/or TFC with a combined minimum capacity of 50 beds. Care providers must provide proper physical care and maintenance, including suitable living accommodations, food, appropriate clothing and personal grooming items. Care providers must provide documentation of state licensure, including information on capacity, age/gender permitted, and length of stay allowable. Any and all documented state licensing allegations/concerns must also be reported.
Basic Shelter Care and/or Group Home: Basic shelters and group homes must provide UC with a child-friendly, least restrictive setting that is appropriate for UC of all ages and cultural backgrounds. Group homes must be designed to serve UC of all ages and cultural backgrounds but with an emphasis on serving a particular subset of UC, such as young children, pregnant and parenting teens, and/or UC with special needs.
TFC: TFC is an initial placement option for UC under 13 years of age, sibling groups with one sibling under 13 years of age, pregnant/parenting teens, or UC with special needs. UC are placed with foster families but do not attend local/neighborhood schools. TFC providers must instead provide the educational component at a central location, operated and run by care provider staff. Other required services such as clinical and case management services must be provided at the care provider site as well.
TFC Parent Requirements
TFC providers are required to follow the requirements of their state licensing agency; but at a minimum, all foster parents must:
- Be at least 21 years of age;
- Be able to obtain medical clearance from a health provider;
- Be able to meet family’s current financial obligations;
- Reside in a home that passes health and fire inspection; and
- Obtain a background check clearance (including fingerprint background checks, child abuse and neglect checks, and other checks as required) in accordance with state law, including background checks of household members, the result of which must be available to ORR.
All foster parents, identified to care for UC, must meet the care provider's and state regulatory requirements and be actively licensed/certified to provide foster care services. Foster parents are required to attend, at a minimum, 30 hours of Model Approach to Partnership in Parenting (MAPP) Training or an equivalent foster parent training curriculum prior to being certified as a foster parent and accepting any UC for placement.
Care providers are required to be licensed residential facilities by the state in which the facilities/homes are located and designed to serve UC of all ages and cultural backgrounds. Care providers typically house between 16 and 300 children, depending on state licensing requirements and ORR capacity needs and group homes typically house between 6 and 18 children, per home/cottage. Care providers must provide proper physical care and shelter for UC that includes but is not limited to suitable living accommodations (e.g., bed, chair, desk, storage for clothing and other personal items), culturally appropriate meals and snacks, several sets of new clothing, and personal grooming items. Services are provided for an average length of stay ranging from 30 to 35 days. Care providers should anticipate that UC with potential sponsors, who require a home study, will have a longer length of stay in order for a provider, designated by ORR, to complete the home study process and ensure a safe release.
Care providers’ facility must be readily accessible to visitors, staff, and UC with disabilities and must comply with local, state and federal laws, codes and regulations including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Care providers are required to be located in areas easily accessible to immigration courts, pro bono legal services, national airports, and community mental health and medical service providers. Care providers are required to have designated common areas, designated spaces for recreation, education, case management and designated confidential spaces for counseling, and health services. Services that do not require confidentiality are required to be in an open setting without the need of extraordinary security measures. However, care providers must have procedures and strategies in place to discourage runaways, unauthorized absences, and unauthorized entries.
Care providers must comply with the following ORR policies on sexual abuse and harassment:
- Maintaining and enforcing a zero tolerance policy for all forms of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and inappropriate sexual behavior;
- Meeting personnel requirements including but not limited to background checks, training, and disciplinary sanctions and corrective actions;
- Meeting staffing and supervision requirements, including but not limited to staffing levels, staffing plans, and video monitoring restrictions;
- Providing responsive planning in the event there is an incident of sexual abuse or sexual harassment that occurs at the care provider facility;
- Providing a coordinated response in coordination with medical and mental health care practitioners community service providers, outside investigators, and care provider leadership immediately following an incident of sexual abuse or sexual harassment as well as the follow-up necessary to ensure the safety of all children and staff;
- Educating UC of policies and topics related to preventing, detecting, and responding to sexual abuse and harassment via an orientation, pamphlets, and bulletins board postings;
- Assessing all UC for risk of being a victim or a perpetrator of sexual abuse while in ORR care and custody in order to inform the UC’s housing, education, recreation, and other service assignments;
- Providing medical and mental health care, including services following an incident of sexual abuse; and
- Reporting, providing notifications, and following up on sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and inappropriate sexual behavior occurring in ORR care, any retaliatory actions resulting from reporting allegations, and staff neglect or violations of responsibilities that have contributed to incidents.
Unless waived by ORR, in addition to being state licensed, care providers must incorporate child welfare best practice standards and emphasize a child-centered approach while working with UC. Care providers must comply with all applicable State Child Welfare laws and regulations and all state and local building, fire, health, and safety codes.
Care providers are required to have a security system to monitor the care provider facility (not individual foster homes) from unauthorized entrance and egress, including the use of alarm systems and video monitoring. Care providers must meet the following minimum safety and security related requirements and are required to be in compliance with state licensing standards and not pose a threat to the safety of UC in, the event a UC attempt to flee from the facility. Care provider’s facilities must have controlled entry and exit from the premises, video monitoring in common and living areas, a communications system and alarm system for all areas of the residential structure, effective video monitoring of the exterior of the building and surrounding premises, a system for physically counting the residents and a written policy that provides that staff regulate UC movements, a daily log on residents population movement, mirrored windows or small windows in the doors of any rooms used for one-on-one meetings with UC, a facility inspection checklist (to include the safety related components of all residential operations and program functions), quarterly safety assessments, and spot inspections.
Care providers must be familiar with the issue of human trafficking in order to provide appropriate services to UC who are victims of human trafficking, as well as to protect UC from potential threats of human trafficking. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2008 (TVPA) defines human trafficking as: The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. Any child (under the age of 18) engaged in commercial sex (including prostitution, pornography, stripping) is a victim of trafficking. For more information, click on link: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/programs/anti-trafficking.
PROGRAM STAFFING REQUIREMENTS
Care providers are required to develop, implement, and document a staffing plan based on the population served, the scope and type of provided services, anticipated requirements, staff vacancies, and budgets. The staffing plan must include staffing ratios in accordance with state licensing requirements and as required by ORR’s policies and procedures. Care provider facilities must be staffed with qualified, bi-lingual professionals, paraprofessionals, and support staff to meet the diverse needs, level of care, supervision, safety, and well-being of UC. Care providers must also include a plan to staff sufficiently to cover a one-on-one safety plan, when necessary. All staff, specifically case management staff, must be proficient in using the Internet and related computer programs.
ORR requires care providers to supervise UC in accordance with state licensing requirements. However, staff-children ratios must be maintained at a minimum of:
- One on-duty staff for every eight UC during waking hours;
- One on-duty staff for every 16 UC during sleeping hours;
- One case manager for every eight UC; and
- One clinician for every 12 UC.
Care providers are subject to the provisions of the Service Contract Act, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 29 and must abide by applicable state wage determination guidelines in their programs. For additional information on the provisions of the Service Contract Act, please click here: http://www.dol.gov/whd/govcontracts/sca.htm and/or http://www.wdol.gov/.
Additional or backup staff must be available for emergency situations or to meet the special needs of UC during busier periods. Rotating after-hours and holiday coverage personnel must also be available in crisis situations. Same gender supervision must be provided when indicated by individual treatment needs.
Care providers must complete background investigations on all staff, contractors, and volunteers prior to hire to ensure the candidate is suitable for employment to work with minors in a residential setting. Background checks must be completed in accordance with ORR’s policies and state licensing requirements. At a minimum, a background check must be updated every five years. For additional information on the specific types of checks that must be completed, please consult the ORR Policy Guide at section 4.3 Personnel http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/resource/children-entering-the-united-states-unaccompanied.
All hired staff must (at the minimum):
- Be at least 21 years of age;
- Possess the relevant experience and/or qualifications to work with UC and/or children with special needs; and
- Be properly trained and licensed, as necessary.
Care providers’ hiring and employment practices must abide by all standards outlined in the IFR on preventing, detecting, and responding to sexual abuse and sexual harassment. These standards apply to any care provider staff member, contractor or volunteer. For additional information on the standards outlined in the IFR, please click here: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/resource/children-entering-the-united-states-unaccompanied-section-4#4.3 and/or http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=ACF-2015-0002-0001
Care providers must have job descriptions and selection criteria for all staff positions that state the qualifications, performance standards, and responsibilities for each position (each job description must include a section on Essential Functions as mandated by the ADA).
Care providers are required to have clear organizational structure that outlines lines of authority and supervision. Staffing plans must be in place that provide a sound relationship between the proposed responsibilities of lead program staff.
Care providers must obtain prior approval from ORR for the positions noted below. Exceptions to the minimum qualifications require ORR’s explicit written approval prior to hire.
Program Director is responsible for the overall management of the programmatic, administrative, financial, and operational systems related to the provision of care and services; provision of regular and timely reports to ORR regarding operations, services, and finances; establishing a respectful and supportive workplace environment; and elevating any issues or concerns to ORR. At a minimum, Program Director must have a Master’s degree in social work or an equivalent degree in education, psychology, sociology, or other relevant behavioral science degree or bachelor’s degree plus five years’ experience in child welfare administration, child protective services, program management, or as director of a licensed child care program. The Program Director must possess the administrator’s license for the care provider’s facility, if applicable.
Assistant Program Director provides support to the Program Director and serves as secondary liaison with ORR. The need for an Assistant Program Director will vary depending on the number of UC served at a care provider facility. At a minimum, the Assistant Program Director must have a Bachelor’s degree in education, psychology, sociology or other relevant behavioral science plus five years of progressive employment experience with a social services or childcare agency or organization.
Lead Clinician coordinates clinical services, trains new clinicians, and supervises clinical staff. At a minimum, the Lead Clinician must have a Master’s degree in social work with clinical experience or Master’s degree in psychology, sociology, or other relevant behavioral science in which clinical experience is a program requirement or a bachelor’s degree plus five years clinical employment experience. Lead Clinician must be licensed.
Clinician conducts mental health assessments and provides ongoing individual and group counseling services, screens for human trafficking concerns, and provides crisis intervention services. At a minimum, the Clinician must have a Master’s degree in social work with five years of clinical experience or Master’s degree in psychology, sociology, or other relevant behavioral science in which clinical experience is a program requirement, or a bachelor’s degree plus five years clinical employment experience. Clinician must be licensed or eligible for licensure.
Lead Case Manager is responsible for coordinating case management and safe and timely release services, training new case managers, and supervising the work of other case managers. At minimum, the Lead Case Manager must have a Master’s degree in the behavioral sciences, human services or social services fields or bachelor’s degree and at least three years progressive employment experience that demonstrates supervisory and case management experience.
Prevention of Sexual Abuse (PSA) Compliance Manger is responsible for managing implementation and ongoing compliance with the IFR on preventing, detecting, and responding to sexual abuse and sexual harassment. For additional information, please click here: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/resource/children-entering-the-united-states-unaccompanied-section-4#4.2. At minimum, the PSA Compliance Manager must have a Bachelor’s degree in behavioral sciences, human services or social service fields or business administration or management, and at least one year experience working with child welfare standards, best practices, quality assurance or compliance.
Care providers are required to provide services in a structured, safe, and productive environment that meets respective state guidelines, relevant federal law and the ORR Policy Guide: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/resource/children-entering-the-united-states-unaccompanied.
Care providers are required to provide or arrange for the program required services in a manner that is sensitive to the age, culture, religion, dietary needs, native language, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other unique needs of each UC. All UC in ORR care are entitled to human rights protections and freedom from discrimination and abuse. Care providers must ensure that children who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or intersex (LGBTQI) are fairly treated and served during their time in ORR custody. Care providers must ensure appropriate services are available to address the specialized and individual needs of all UC, including vulnerable and traumatized UC. All services and assessments are required to be administered for all UC even if they are in ORR custody for a short period of time. Shelter care providers are required to provide services in the language spoken by of the majority of UC in their facility and/or provide translation services.
Care providers are expected to provide all the services under Program Requirements unless otherwise noted in this announcement.
Care providers must adhere to specific time-frames for required assessments and/or reports that must be administered to UC.
|Report / Assessment
|Initial Intake Assessment
||Within 24 hours of admission
|Initial Medical Exam
||Within 48 hours of admission
|Initial UC Assessment
||Within five days of admission
|Individual Service Plan
||Within seven days of admission
|UC Case Review
||On the UC's 30th day in care and subsequently every 30 days
Acculturation and Adaptation Services
Care providers are required to provide acculturation and adaptation services that include the development of social and interpersonal skills that contribute to the ability to live independently and responsibly in the community.
Care providers are required to ensure that UC participate in activities according to a recreation and leisure time plan that includes daily outdoor activities, weather permitting, of at least one hour per day of large muscle activity and one hour per day of structured leisure time activities other than television. Activities are required to be increased to a total of three hours daily on weekends and on other days when school is not in session. Recreation and leisure time activities are separate from the required physical educational during school day instruction.
Case Management Services
Care providers are required to implement and administer a case management system that tracks and monitors a UC's progress on a regular basis to ensure that each UC receives the full range of program services in an integrated and comprehensive manner. Case managers are required to meet with UC, at a minimum, once a week. Case managers are expected to complete all steps required to safely release UC to appropriate sponsors promptly and, on average, within 30 days of referral. The care provider's case management team is also responsible for maintenance of the ORR/DCS database, UC Portal. All placement, transfer, and release requests, as well as all significant incident reports are processed through this web-based system. When necessary, case management staff are required to also work collaboratively with agencies that conduct home studies and provide post release services. Care providers are required to conduct safety and well-being follow-up calls to a UC and sponsor 30 days after the UC is released.
Educational services are required to be provided daily, Monday through Friday, year round, and to be appropriate to the UC's level of development, education, and communication skills. Educational services are required to be administered in a structured classroom setting and concentrate primarily on the development of basic academic competencies and secondarily on English Language Training. The educational program consists of instruction, educational materials, and other reading materials in the following basic academic areas: Science, Social Studies, Mathematics, Reading, Writing, and Physical Education.
Care providers are required to provide group counseling sessions twice a week, at a minimum. One of these two groups can be substituted by “family or house meetings.” At least one group counseling session must be provided according to a psycho-educational curriculum that may be adjusted according to the needs of the population.
Care providers are required to provide at least one individual counseling session per week, for each UC. A qualified clinician conducts the counseling session with the specific objective of assessing and responding to the UC's mental health needs, reviewing the UC's progress, establishing new short-term objectives, and addressing the developmental progress, immediate concerns, and crisis-related needs of each UC.
Individualized Needs Assessments
Care providers are required to provide individualized ongoing assessment for each UC, which includes:
- Initial Intake Assessment must be completed within 24 hours of UC admission. A trained staff member, with the care provider, must use an Initial Intake Assessment form to interview the UC to identify any immediate needs or issues. This assessment guides the interviewer through a series of questions to obtain information about family members, immediate medical or mental health concerns, current medications, and any concerns about personal safety the UC may have.
- Initial UC Assessment (initial intake assessment, psychosocial summary, and trauma and human trafficking assessment), to be completed within five days of UC placement with the care provider, to gather initial information relating to the UC's journey; the UC and family's psychosocial assessment; trauma and substance abuse history; information about a UC's work history or concerns about working to pay off debt; exploitation or trafficking concerns; and other essential data relating to the identification and history of the UC and his/her family;
- An Assessment for Risk, which must be completed within 72 hours of admission and updated every 30 days, to identify risk factors for potential sexual victimization or sexual abuser tendencies so early intervention can take place to mitigate any potential risks or safety concerns;
- UC Case Review every 30 days assessing the UC’s:
- mental health and identification of any special medical needs, including any specific issues that may require immediate intervention;
- an educational assessment and plan;
- ongoing assessment of a UC's behavioral issues and any previous juvenile justice or criminal involvement;
- a statement of religious preference and practice; and
- identifying information and continuing to pursue additional information regarding the UC's immediate family members, other relatives, or family friends who may be residing in the United States and able to be a UC’s sponsor.
Individual Service Plan
Care providers are required to complete a comprehensive and realistic Individual Service Plan (ISP) for each UC in accordance with the UC's needs as determined by the UC Assessments and assessment of any trafficking concerns. ISPs are implemented and closely coordinated through an operative clinical assessment and intervention plan, as well as a case management system. The ISP must be completed within seven days of admission and every 30 days thereafter. In cases where human trafficking is suspected or confirmed, the care provider is required to refer the UC to ACF’s Office of Anti-Trafficking in Persons division and provide or refer the UC for other services to ensure the UC has access to all services guaranteed by TVPRA of 2008.
Care providers are required to inform UC of the availability of free legal assistance, the right to be represented by counsel at no expense to the federal government, and the rights victims of trafficking have under TVPRA of 2008. A private space for the UC and his/her attorney to meet and confer on legal matters must be made available.
Care providers must make reasonable accommodations to allow the UC to meet privately with their attorney and attend all hearings or proceedings to which the UC is a party.
Maintenance of Case Files
Care providers must maintain comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date case files, as well as electronic records on UC that are kept confidential and secure at all times and must be accessible to ORR upon request. Electronic records include those on the care provider’s network, drive as well as those on the UC Portal. Care providers must have written policies and procedures for organizing and maintaining the content of active and closed case files that incorporate state licensing requirements and/or accrediting agency requirements, and ORR policies and procedures.
Care providers are required to provide:
- a complete medical examination (including a screening for infectious diseases) within 48 business hours of admission; excluding weekends and holidays, only if UC does not have documentation of a medical examination completed within the previous six months at another ORR facility;
- appropriate immunizations in accordance with the United States Public Health Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
- family planning services, including pregnancy tests and comprehensive information about and access to medical reproductive health services and emergency contraception;
- other appropriate and routine medical and dental care;
- emergency health care services;
- administration of prescribed medication and special diets;
- appropriate mental health interventions, when necessary;
- arranging forensic medical examinations, as necessary; and
- sexually transmitted infections prophylaxis.
Mental Health Services
Care providers are required to provide clinical services, including regular on-site individual and group counseling sessions and have the ability to access community mental health services for UC with special needs. Community mental health services include psychiatric evaluations and treatment, medication assessments and management, crisis intervention, in-patient acute psychiatric care, and other clinical interventions as identified by ORR.
Care providers must provide nutritional services in accordance with United States Department of Agriculture and HHS nutritional guidelines and state licensing requirements. Care providers must establish procedures to accommodate dietary restrictions, food allergies, health issues, and religious or spiritual dietary requirements.
Within 48 hours of admission, care providers are required to provide every UC with a comprehensive program orientation that covers the program's services, rules (written and verbal), expectations, zero tolerance policy towards sexual abuse and sexual harassment, and the availability of free legal assistance. The orientation must be provided in formats that are accessible to UC who are limited English proficient, deaf, visually impaired or otherwise disabled, as well as those who have limited reading skills.
Whenever possible, care providers must provide or arrange for access to any available religious services of the UC's choice. Care providers must abide by 45 CFR § 87.1(c), which prohibits the program administrators from providing inherently religious activities, such as worship, religious instruction or proselytization, as part of the federally funded program or services. This means that the materials disseminated by staff persons must be neutral in their treatment of religion. Neither staff nor materials used in these programs should promote, endorse, or favor religious beliefs over non-religious beliefs, nor should they disparage religious beliefs in any way. Further, they should not express a judgment with regard to religious beliefs or non-belief, or seek to influence the beliefs of UC with respect to religion. Yet, this does not limit the speech of any UCs who might choose to talk about religion, as long as the program administrators, instructors, or officials do not control, encourage, or approve of their speech after the fact. For example, a UC may choose to engage in prayer, subject to the same rules designed to prevent material disruption of the program that are applied to any other privately initiated speech. Additionally, as indicated above, care providers should provide or arrange for access to outside privately funded religious services that a UC requests by, for example, providing television access or arranging for transportation to such services.
If a care provider chooses to operate a program with inherently religious content then the provider must take steps to completely separate that program from the federally funded services in time or location, and do so in such a way that it is clear that the two programs are separate and distinct. For example, the inherently religious program may be offered in another facility. Yet, participation in that program must be voluntary for any UCs that chooses to attend, and that program must be privately funded.
Right to Privacy
UC have a reasonable right to privacy that includes the right to: (a) wear his or her own clothes (b) retain a private space in the residential facility, group, or foster home for the storage of personal belongings; (c) talk privately on the phone, as permitted by the shelter/group home/foster home rules and regulations; (d) visit privately with guests, as permitted by shelter/group home/foster home rules and regulations; and (e) receive and send uncensored mail unless there is a reasonable belief that the mail contains contraband.
Care providers' program rules and discipline standards are required to be formulated with consideration for the range of ages and maturity levels of UC in the program and with cultural sensitivity towards all UC. A behavior management plan used by the care provider must meet child welfare best practice standards and must be approved by ORR. Each shelter/group home/foster home must have basic rules posted in both English and UCs native language. These rules must be reviewed with UC upon placement with a focus on safety, respect, and family/group living. Misbehavior must be resolved on an individual basis. All interventions must be positive, strength-based and must never subject UC to corporal punishment, humiliation, mental abuse, or punitive interference with the daily functions of living, such as eating or sleeping.
Safe and Timely Release Services
Care providers must adhere to ORR’s policies and procedures that are in place to ensure the care and safety of UC. These policies require the timely release of UC to qualified parents, guardians, relatives or other adults, referred to as “sponsors.” Safe and timely release must occur within a setting that promotes public safety and ensures that sponsors are able to provide for the physical and mental well-being of UC. ORR evaluates potential sponsors’ ability to provide for the UC’s physical and mental well-being, as the law requires ORR to protect UC from smugglers, traffickers, or others who might seek to victimize or otherwise engage the UC in criminal, harmful or exploitative activity. The process for the safe and timely release of a UC from ORR custody involves many steps, including: the identification of sponsors; the submission by a sponsor of the application for release and supporting documentation; the evaluation of the suitability of the sponsor, including verification of the sponsor’s identity and relationship to the child, background checks, and in some cases home studies; and planning for post-release. The provision of safe and timely release services will be monitored and evaluated by ORR and poor performance may result in corrective actions or termination of agreement.
Care providers must develop a written safety and security plan that includes policies and procedures for all UC in its care and program staff. The safety plan must address emergency situations covering the following areas: runaways, evacuations (for example due to a hurricane, fire, or other emergency), medical and mental health emergencies, and disease outbreaks.
Care providers must meet the safety requirements maintained by state and/or local licensing entities, fire code regulations, and local zoning and building code regulations.
Care providers are required to provide UC with transportation services to local airports and if necessary provide an escort for the UC according to ORR policies, and to local services and appointments, such as medical and dental appointments, immigration court hearings, or community services as part of the ISP.
UC must be provided the opportunity to make a minimum of two telephone calls per week (10 minutes each) to family members and/or sponsors, in a private setting. UC are allowed to call both family members and sponsors living in the United States and abroad. UC also have a right to receive visitors. Attorneys of record are required to have reasonable access to UC according to ORR/DCS instructions and procedures. Visitations may need to occur in a setting other than the shelter/group home/foster home to ensure the safety and well-being of the UC and other UC in shelter/group home/foster home.
Vocational Educational Services
Care providers are encouraged to create or provide access to vocational training opportunities that will provide UC with practical and competitive job skills and assist in the preparation for adulthood. Vocational programs may not replace academic education or be a substitute for the basic subject areas.
In addition to the Program Requirements listed above, care providers must adhere to the requirements of the IFR which can be found by clicking on the link: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=ACF-2015-0002-0001
The following is not required but an optional service shelter care providers can offer.
Digital and Ink-less Fingerprint Services:
Care providers implement and administer digital and/or ink-less fingerprint services for UC sponsor, non-sponsor adult household members, and adult care givers identified in sponsor care plan. A sponsor is an individual or entity to which ORR releases a UC out of federal custody. This service includes the following: checking sponsor identification; completing required ORR/DCS background check authorization forms; taking digital fingerprints or ink-less fingerprints; if digital, transmitting digital prints on dedicated phone (land line); faxing routing template, authorization forms/copy of ID to ORR/DCS's security representative; expedited mailing of ink-less prints (two sets) with authorization forms, copy of ID; routing template to ORR/DCS security representative; maintaining log of sponsors served; establishing effective bilingual (Spanish) message/phone line to accept appointments; providing appointments no later than three business days from sponsor or case worker's request, preferably sooner; and following guidance and direction from ORR/DCS and ORR/DCS security representative.
Note: Budgeting for digital fingerprint equipment and ink-less fingerprint equipment is not required. Digital and/or ink-less fingerprint equipment is provided by ORR/DCSs security representative. ORR/DCS security representative provides required equipment maintenance and operational supplies. Additional consideration must be taken to budget for staff time; dedicated phone line (land line); copy/faxing services; and expedited mailing of ink-less prints.
For more information on application requirements, please see Section IV.2. The Project Description.
FAITH BASED ORGANIZATIONS
Consistent with the ACF Policy on Grants to Faith-Based Organizations (please see Section III.1 Eligible Applicants for more information), ACF is mindful that potential grantees may have religious objections to providing certain kinds of services. ACF is committed to providing the full range of legally permissible services to people who need them, and to do so in a timely fashion and in a manner that respects the diverse religious and cultural backgrounds of those we serve. At the same time, ACF is also committed to exploring ways for organizations to partner with ACF and other grantees even if they object to providing specific services on religious grounds.
If an organization has a religious objection to providing any of the services required in the program, it may propose an approach to meeting its grant obligations consistent with ACF's faith-based policy. The alternative approach must be one that accomplishes the goal of ensuring that UC in ORR’s custody understand the full range of services available in the program, including family planning services, and that there is a mechanism by which UC requesting such services can receive appropriate services. If an alternative approach is proposed, ORR will decide whether to accept the alternative approach, based upon a determination of whether the alternative approach will ensure timely provision of all services for which the individual is eligible, is not burdensome to the client, and is operationally feasible for ACF.
ORR is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for information collection under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) on the UC forms for post-award reporting. Forms will include, but are not limited to:
- UC Portal Capacity Report
- Notice of Placement in Secure or Staff Secure Facility
- Initial Intake Assessment
- Initial UC Assessment
- UC Case Review Form
- Significant Incident Report (SIR)
- Sexual Abuse SIR Form
- Assessment for Risk Form
- Care Provider Incident Review Form
- New Sponsor Form
- Transfer Request and Tracking Form
- Long Term Foster Care Placement Memo
- Travel Request form for UC Long Term Foster Care
- Notice of Transfer to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Chief Counsel and Change of Address
- Care Provider Family Reunification Checklist
- Release Request
- Discharge Notification
- Verification of Release
- Child Advocate Referral and Appointment Form
- Notice of Rights and Provision of Services Handout
- Legal Service Provider List for UC
NOTE: Consistent with the PRA of 1995, 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3521, under this FOA, ORR will not conduct or sponsor – and a person is not required to respond to - a collection of information covered by such Act, unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. ORR is seeking approval of its UC forms through the OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. ORR will not request this information if these forms are not approved at the time that reports are due.
Please see Section VI.3. Reporting for more information.
 The term “unaccompanied child” or “UC” is used in place of the statutory term “unaccompanied alien child,” but it retains the statutory meaning.