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Unaccompanied Alien Children Information

Fact Sheets


The contents noted with "*" are in the process of Section 508 review. Assistive Technology users should contact Lydia Holt at lydia.holt@acf.hhs.gov if they experience any difficulties.

UAC Data

Frequently Asked Questions

ACF's Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides funding and oversight to state-licensed shelters throughout the United States for children referred to ORR by the Department of Homeland Security. The children are known as unaccompanied alien children (UAC). They include both children who enter the country without their parent or legal guardian and children who, for other reasons, have been separated from their parent or legal guardian.

In recent days, there has been a great deal of misinformation about the UAC program. This misinformation and the intentional perpetuation of it is a disservice to the hundreds of caseworkers and care providers who are deeply committed to the quality care and safe and speedy placement of the children with appropriate sponsors. Please read ORR's frequently asked questions from community members and media regarding the UAC program.

UAC Contact Information

ORR Helpline for Unaccompanied Alien Children or Sponsors

800.203.7001 | information@ORRNCC.com

ORR National Call Center phone number 1-800-203-7001 or email information@ORRNCC.com

How does the ORR National Call Center help parents who are looking for their child?

  • The call center collects information from the caller and will send the information in real time regarding the caller’s inquiry to the shelter in which the child is located.
  • A caller may provide his/her name, contact information, their relationship to the child or child’s family, etc. 
  • The ORR shelter is then responsible for responding to a parent/sponsor/legal representative, after verifying the caller’s identity with the child or the child's family in the country of origin.
  • The call center does not verify or authenticate relationships, and therefore MAY NOT share the location or other personal information regarding the child with the caller.

Other helpful information:

  • Not every adult who comes forward to claim custody of a child is an appropriate sponsor due to a variety of reasons, which may include custodial disputes in the home country or environmental factors unsuitable for children.
  • Professional case managers conduct vigorous investigations to determine safe settings for children to be released to a sponsor.
  • The ORR National Call Center is experiencing an extraordinarily high volume of calls. To mitigate wait times and ensure rapid response, the call center has increased staffing during peak times.
  • To ensure the call center can focus on its critical mission of supporting children and families, ORR asks that members of the public, lawmakers and media do not use the 1-800 number. Inquiries can be forwarded to media@hhs.gov or UACProgram@acf.hhs.gov.

In addition to reunification support, the ORR National Call Center also serves children and sponsors post-reunification with issues that may include: finding resources in the community for education, medical care, emotional support, juvenile justice, substance use, legal support and safety; providing guidance on strengthening the relationship between sponsors and children; and receiving reports of abuse or neglect.

Request for Case File Information

Outside entities, attorneys or other individuals seeking UAC case file information must make a request to ORR under the appropriate policies and procedures. Requesting parties should not make a FOIA request for UAC case file information.

Media Contact

Please visit ACF's Media Center page for contact details.

Program Contact Information

Office of Refugee Resettlement
Administration for Children and Families
Mary E. Switzer Building
330 C Street, SW
Room 5123
Washington, DC 20201
Phone: 202.401.9246
Fax: 202.401.1022

Photo Gallery


Videos of ORR-Funded Shelters

Content created by Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (ASPA)
Content last reviewed on December 8, 2020