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Latest UAC Data – FY2020

The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the Administration for Children and Families, an operational division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) manages the Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) Program.

UAC are defined as a child who has no lawful immigration status in the United States; has not attained 18 years of age; and, with respect to whom, there is no parent or legal guardian in the United States, or no parent or legal guardian in the United States available to provide care and physical custody.

Other federal agencies, usually the Department of Homeland Security, refer UAC to ORR. Most children placed into ORR care was because immigration authorities apprehended them while trying to cross the border; others referrals were after coming to the attention of immigration authorities at some point after crossing the border. HHS plays no role in the apprehension or initial detention of UAC prior to their referral to HHS custody and HHS is not a party to the child's immigration proceedings.

Since 2003, ORR has provided care for and found suitable sponsors for over 340,000 UAC. For its first nine years at ORR, serving fewer than 8000 children annually in this program. Since Fiscal Year 2012 (October 1, 2011 – September 30, 2012), this number has jumped dramatically, with 13,625 children referred to ORR by the end of FY 2012. The program received 24,668 UAC referrals from DHS in FY 2013, 57,496 referrals in FY 2014, 33,726 referrals in FY 2015, 59,170 in FY 2016, 40,810 in FY 2017, 49,100 in FY 2018, and 69,550 in FY 2019.

The latest data available on UAC demographics and program operations for fiscal year 2020 is on this page.

Overall Data | Gender | Age | Tender Age (0-12) UAC By Shelter Type | Total Monthly Discharges to Individual Sponsors Only (By Category)

Overall Data

In Care Statistics Calculated on the Last Day of the Month 10/31/2019 11/30/2019 12/31/2019 01/31/2020 02/29/2020
Average Number of Children in Care: 4,530 4,054 4,236 3,621 3,617
Maximum Number of Operations Beds*: 13,616 12,496 13,059 13,173 13,243
Average Occupancy Rate: 34% 33% 33% 28% 28%
Average Length of Care (for those discharged)**: 69 63 55 56 55
Average Length of Care (for those in care)***: 123 114 113 122 117
30-Day Average Number of UAC Referrals: 72 85 84 61 78
30-Day Average UAC Discharge Rate: 2.3 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.2

*includes Influx shelters
**includes all discharge types & all program types
***Length of Care calculated as of the last day of the corresponding month showing above

Gender

In Care Statistics Calculated on the Last Day of the Month 10/31/2019 11/30/2019 12/31/2019 01/31/2020 02/29/2020
Male 2,859 2,830 2,730 2,461 2,474
Female 1,334 1,348 1,308 1,155 1,100

Age

In Care Statistics Calculated on the Last Day of the Month 10/31/2019 11/30/2019 12/31/2019 01/31/2020 02/29/2020
0-5 215 216 191 164 166
6-12 515 513 439 368 360
13-14 443 467 418 347 359
15-16 1,461 1,428 1,462 1,316 1,312
17+ 1,559 1,554 1,528 1,421 1,377

Tender Age (0-12) UAC By Shelter Type

In Care Statistics Calculated on the Last Day of the Month 10/31/2019 11/30/2019 12/31/2019 01/31/2020 02/29/2020
Standard Shelter 257 243 205 156 132
Transitional Foster Care 434 446 387 337 355
Residential Treatment 3 3 2 2 3
Staff Secure 0 0 0 0 0
Secure 0 0 0 0 0
Therapeutic 1 1 2 1 1
Long Term Foster Care 35 36 34 36 35

Total Monthly Discharges to Individual Sponsors Only (By Category)

In Care Statistics Calculated on the Last Day of the Month 10/31/2019 11/30/2019 12/31/2019 01/31/2020 02/29/2020
Category 1 1,066 903 1,096 783 776
Category 2 1,205 1,040 1,072 1,018 1,048
Category 3 519 378 303 305 290
Total 2,790 2,321 2,471 2,106 2,114

*** PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL FY20 UAC DATA REPRESENTED HERE IS UNRECONCILED AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE***
ORR has an increasing number of unaccompanied minors in care without an identifiable sponsor. As such, this may result in an increase of the overall average length of care statistic.

Content created by Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
Content last reviewed on March 26, 2020