Since responsibility for unaccompanied children was transferred to HHS by the Homeland Security Act of 2002, OIG has provided oversight of the unaccompanied alien children (UAC) program. The OIG is charged with overseeing programs and operations in HHS—including the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR)—to combat fraud and abuse in those programs and to promote their efficiency and effectiveness. To accomplish this, OIG employs an array of oversight tools: investigations, evaluations, and audits.
OIG has completed work examining various aspects of the UAC program. For example, we audited grantee expenditures and assessed their internal controls for administering UAC program funds. We also examined whether ORR grantees met safety standards for the care and release of children in their custody. When OIG has identified possible criminal misconduct, we have investigated it or referred it to our Federal or local law enforcement partners as appropriate. All of these efforts have one unifying purpose—to promote the protection of children in the Department's care.Read More
- The total number of children separated from a parent or guardian by immigration authorities is unknown.
- Pursuant to a June 2018 Federal District Court order, HHS has thus far identified 2,737 children in its care at that time who were separated from their parents. However, thousands of children may have been separated during an influx that began in 2017, before the accounting required by the Court, and HHS has faced challenges in identifying separated children.
- In response to these findings, ORR leadership cited efforts to improve tracking of separated children, including modifying ORR's online case management system.
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- Media Materials
- Electronic Press Kit
- BCFS Health and Human Services Did Not Always Comply With Federal and State Requirements Related to the Health and Safety of Unaccompanied Alien Children (A-06-17-07007)
- The Tornillo Influx Care Facility: Concerns About Staff Background Checks and Number of Clinicians on Staff (A-12-19-20000)
- Florence Crittenton Services of Orange County, Inc., Did Not Always Claim Expenditures in Accordance With Federal Requirements (A-09-17-01002)
- Heartland Human Care Services, Inc., Generally Met Safety Standards, but Claimed Unallowable Rental Costs (A-05-16-00038)
- Florence Crittenton Services of Orange County, Inc., Did Not Always Meet Applicable Safety Standards Related to Unaccompanied Alien Children (A-09-16-01005)
- BCFS Health and Human Services Did Not Always Comply With Federal Requirements Related to Less-Than-Arm's-Length Leases (A-06-16-07007)
- Office of Refugee Resettlement Unaccompanied Alien Children Grantee Review-His House (A-04-16-03566)
- HHS's Office of Refugee Resettlement Improved Coordination and Outreach to Promote the Safety and Well-Being of Unaccompanied Alien Children (OEI-09-16-00260)
- Division of Unaccompanied Children's Services: Efforts to Serve Children (OEI-07-06-00290)