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Children and Migration


Creating a world where immigrants, migrants, refugees, and people on the move are treated with dignity, respect, welcome and belonging. 

-Migration and Refugee Services Vision Statement
Unaccompanied Children: A Humanitarian Crisis
What we support.
What we are doing and how you can help.

Who We Are

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops department of Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) is the largest refugee resettlement agency in the world, and is one of two agencies authorized by the U.S. Department of State to resettle unaccompanied refugee children.  MRS serves as a leader in the protection of unaccompanied children by providing family reunification services to children who enter the United States alone without immigration status, and specialized placements in community-based settings to refugee and immigrant children with no viable family reunification options in the United States.  MRS has served unaccompanied children through culturally-appropriate programs nationwide since 1980.

What We Do

Specializing in the intersection between migration and child welfare, MRS/Children's Services provides operational and consultative services for unaccompanied refugee minors, migrating children and their families, and child victims of human trafficking.  MRS builds the capacity of a broad network of Catholic and other agencies.  Click here to read more about what we do, or visit our program pages below: 

Safe Passages Family Reunification Program:  provides an alternative to detention by arranging family reunification services for children who enter the United States alone, have been apprehended by immigration officials, and placed in federal custody due to their immigration status.  

Foster Care for Unaccompanied Children:  places eligible unaccompanied refugee children, and unaccompanied children who are eligible for immigration relief (including child victims of trafficking and children with asylee status), in placement  settings that are community-based, culturally-sensitive, and individualized to the special needs of the referred child.

Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS):  provides national technical assistance to organizations serving refugees and immigrants so that all newcomer children and youth can reach their potential.

Monitoring and Quality Assurance:  coordinates external monitoring, quality assurance, and evaluation of sub-recipients of the Safe Passages residential, foster care, and family reunification services and oversees evaluation and quality assurance processes of internal MRS/Children's Services programmatic work. 

How You Can Help

Explore Resources from MRS' Children's Services Program

Donate Now!

Help our Unaccompanied Refugee and Migrant Children programs by making a tax-deductible contribution now. If you are in New York, Florida, or Washington, DC, make your donation online.  Residents of other states should visit the National Catholic Fund for Migration and Refugee Services.


MyMembership is for diocesan staff working in partnership with USCCB/MRS to provide services to refugees and migrants and others on the move.  It provides program-specific information, resources, and trainings as well as broader resources to support this ministry. Login here.

More Information

A Portrait of Foreign-Born Children in Federal Foster Care and How to Best Meet Their Needs
A Study on the Emotional Well-Being and Coping Mechanisms of Immigrant Foster Youth
Care for Trafficked Children
Care for Trafficked Children - April 2006
Children's Services Resources
Childrens' Services Response to 2014 Humanitarian Crisis Final
Family Refunification Program in English
Family Reunification Program
Family Reunification Program Brochure in Spanish
Foster Care for Unaccompanied Children
How to Get Help
Immigrating the Spouse and Children of Refugees Asylees
Immigrating the Spouse and Children of Refugees Asylees Part 2
Immigration Relief for Children in Federal Foster Care Before and After TVPRA 2008
Joint Testimony of MRS and LIRS to Congress
Post-Release Services: Family Preservation Services for Immigrant Children
Statement from MRS regarding the care of refugee minors being transferred to ORR
The United States Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program - PDF
The United States Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program: Guiding Principles and Promising Practices
The Work of USCCB/MRS Children and Migration - December 2011
Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program Brochure in English
URM book cover
URM Brochure - Spanish
URM Mapping White Paper
URM Programs
USCCB Role in the URM Program - A 30-Year Partnership
What We Do
Who We Are

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