Unaccompanied Children Program

Since 2005, ORR has contracted with Vera to manage a national network of legal service providers for unaccompanied children. Currently, Vera staff oversees programs at 36 legal services organizations that provide assistance to children throughout the country. Children receive the following services:

  • Know Your Rights Orientations. Providers give group or individual presentations to newly arrived children at detention facilities prior to each child’s first court appearance, which teach the children about their rights while in detention and the immigration court process.
  • Individual Screenings. Providers meet individually with all children to identify their legal needs and provide additional education about their rights and immigration law.
  • Free Legal Assistance, Referrals and Representation. Providers provide direct representation or recruit, train, and mentor pro bono attorneys, and match children with pro bono representation where possible.
  • Coordinated Services. Providers communicate with detention facility caseworkers, ORR staff, child welfare practitioners, and immigration authorities about unaccompanied children’s needs and issues.