Our Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program serves youth who flee from war, violence or persecution in dozens of countries. By the time they get to the United States, they’ve been separated from and often lost contact with parents and other family members who can care for them and have often suffered great traumas – and they’re not even 18 years old.

This program provides a variety of different services for youth. Most youth are placed in foster homes to provide the family environment that is ideal for young people. Some youth need more assistance to recover from past traumas and are placed in our therapeutic foster care program. As youth mature and gain independence, they often graduate to a host home, providing less supervision and more general guidance about how live on their own.

Many youth in the program may be matched with a mentor, who will be a positive role model and help them adjust to the customs and culture of the United States. Many youth also have a tutor who helps them learn in a new educational system and develop positive study habits.

Inquiries should go to Refugee Foster Care

Kayla Park
(517) 827-5179

Refugee foster care

Foster families provide a safe, nurturing and stable environment for these refugee youth who do not have parents or adults who can provide care. They welcome the youth into their home and family, providing the same love and guidance as they would their biological children. Foster families are paid a stipend by the agency to help offset for the costs associated with having an additional person in the household.

Therapeutic foster care

Therapeutic foster families provide a safe, nurturing and stable environment for these refugee youth who have been through greater traumas. They work with a team of staff including case managers, behavioral specialists, and therapists to help the youth heal from past experiences while moving forward to independent adulthood. Therapeutic foster families receive more training and a higher daily stipend than traditional foster families.

Host homes (Rent a room)

Host homes rent a room to youth who no longer need the extra guidance of a foster family, but are not ready to be entirely on their own. Host families are not legally responsible for the youth in their home, but provide guidance and help teach skills necessary for successful independence, like cooking, budgeting, and maintaining a household. Host homes are paid monthly rent by the youth, negotiated before a youth moves into the home.

Mentoring

Mentors are volunteers who build a relationship of unconditional caring and friendship to help refugee teens learn independent living and social skills. As positive role models, mentors share their knowledge and experience to help the youth adjust to differences they experience in the United States. Mentors also help them explore educational and career choices.

Tutoring

Tutors help youth succeed in a new educational system and develop positive study habits. Tutors must have a bachelor’s degree in any field of study and may work with one youth or several.

Training Information

Foster Parents

  • Orientation (recruitment specialist will assist with scheduling)
  • PRIDE trainings (licensing worker will assist with scheduling)
  • Refugee 101 (Refugee Foster Parent Trainer will provide training)
  • Additional trainings for therapeutic foster families
  • Refugee-specific trainings as needed (schedule provided quarterly by Refugee Foster Parent Trainer)

Mentors or tutors

  • Interview with Mentor/Tutor Coordinator
  • Mentor/tutor training (scheduled as needed by Mentor/Tutor Coordinator)