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A young immigrant boy peers over a fence.

Children and Migration

Unaccompanied Children: A Humanitarian Crisis
What we support.
What we are doing and how you can help

Who We Are

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

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.

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