Unaccompanied Alien Children Program

The Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) program was transferred to ORR from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on March 1, 2003, pursuant to section 462 of the Homeland Security Act.

The 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 officers, or other law enforcement agencies and are taken into care pending resolution of their claims for relief under U.S.

immigration law or released to adult family members or responsible adult guardians.

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

In FY 2007, ORR funded ORR funded 28 agencies to provide placements in shelter care for unaccompanied alien children who are in Federal custody by reason of their immigration status.

Additionally, 4 contracts and 4 interagency agreements were implemented.

It is anticipated that, in FY 2007 and FY 2008, continuation of the provision of services will be provided by grantees for the unaccompanied alien children who are in care at any given time.

The types of care currently include foster care, shelter care, and medical services.

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.

Program Accomplishments

Program served 8,212 children in FY 2007.

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 apprehended by agents of the Bureau of Border Security, Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS), or other law enforcement agencies.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

State and local governments, private non-profit organizations, and private for-profit organizations.

Beneficiary Eligibility

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


Cost principles for private nonprofit organizations will be determined by OMB Circular No. A-122. Cost principles for state and local governments are found under OMB Circular No. A-87. Cost principles governing private for-profit organizations are found under OMB Circular No. A-76.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

ORR may enter into contracts or grants after full and open competition pursuant to regulations.

However, special regulations permit other than full and open competition under any of the following circumstances: only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements, expert services, unusual and compelling urgency, international agreement, national security, public interest, and authorized or required by statute.

Any exemption requires documentation by the grants or contracting officer of the justification for any one of the circumstances listed above.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

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.


The Director may invite applications, if necessary, due to unusual and compelling urgency of unaccompanied alien children apprehended by border patrol officers, BCIS agents or other law enforcement agencies. Deadlines for applications are noted in notices of funds of availability. Generally, the deadline for grant applications is 60 days after posting of the notice of funds availability.


Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296, Section 462.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

It is anticipated that the approval/disapproval time will not exceed 30 days in urgent situation, and will not exceed 90 days in normal application situation.


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.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Grant awards are made on an as needed basis, and on an annual budget basis.

Post Assistance Requirements


Monthly progress reports of placements are required.

Progress and financial reports are required, usually on a quarterly or semi-annual basis.

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


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. "In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 1997), Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations, nonfederal entities that receive financial assistance of $300,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $300,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133." 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, business, 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



(Grants) FY 07 $77,231,000; FY 08 $95,088,000; and FY 09 est $86,395,000 plus the projected carryover.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

In FY 2007, 28 grants were awarded. In FY 2008, it is estimated that 26 grants will be awarded. In FY 2009, it is estimated that 29 grants will be awarded.

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

Not applicable.

Headquarters Office

Maureen Dunn, Director, Division of Unaccompanied Children Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services, 8th Floor, West, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., Washington, DC 20447. Telephone: (202) 401-5523; (202) 401-1022 fax.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

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

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