The primary function of ORR/DCS is to provide temporary shelter care and other related services to UAC in ORR custody. The Homeland Security Act of 2002 defines UAC as minors:
- Who have no lawful immigration status in the United States;
- Who have not attained 18 years of age; AND
- For whom:
- There is no parent or legal guardian in the United States; OR
- No parent or legal guardian in the United States is available to provide care and physical custody.
While the UAC population generally consists of adolescents 12 to 17 years of age with males representing a higher percentage of the overall population, ORR is looking for applicants who can provide services for a diverse population of UAC of all ages and genders as well as pregnant teens. UAC come from all over the world, but the majority is from El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Guatemala. Unless otherwise specified, successful applicants are expected to provide services for UAC from any country.
UAC are in the legal custody of the Federal Government throughout their stay in ORR care but will be in the physical custody of the residential care provider. The majority of UAC are expected to stay in ORR custody between 30-35 days, but a UAC’s length of stay with a residential care provider can vary. The size of the entire UAC population in ORR custody will fluctuate depending on the number of UAC the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) apprehends and UAC immigration case dispositions.
Each of the program facilities listed is expected to provide all the services under Program Requirements unless otherwise noted. The majority of UAC are placed in Basic Shelter and/or Group Home Care. Other levels of care include Therapeutic Group Home; Staff Secure; Therapeutic Staff Secure Group Home; Secure; Residential Treatment Facilities; and Long Term Foster Care.
Residential care providers are required to provide proper physical care and shelter for UAC that includes but is not limited to suitable living accommodations (e.g., bed, chair, desk, storage for clothing and other personal items), culturally appropriate meals and snacks, several sets of new clothing, and personal grooming items. The facilities are required to have designated common areas, including space for education, recreation, and case management as well as space to hold confidential services, such as health services and counseling.
Services are required to be delivered in an open setting without the need for extraordinary security measures, unless otherwise noted, but care providers are required to also design programs and strategies to discourage runaways and prevent the unauthorized absence of UAC in their care. Residential care providers are required to be located in areas easily accessible to immigration courts, pro bono legal services, national airports, and community mental health and medical service providers.
During an emergency influx of UAC, residential care providers are required to have a plan to safely house ‘Basic Shelter Care and/or Group Home’ eligible UAC until beds are available in Basic Shelter and/or Group Home care (with the exception of Secure, Long Term Foster Care, and Residential Treatment Center providers).
Basic Shelter Care and/or Group Home:
Residential care providers operating basic shelters and group homes are required to provide UAC with a child-friendly, least restrictive setting that is appealing to UAC of all ages.
Basic shelter care facilities typically house between 16 and 200 children, depending on State licensing requirements, and group homes typically house between 6 and 18 children. Basic shelters are required to be designed to serve UAC of all ages and backgrounds but with an emphasis on serving a particular subset of UAC, such as young children, pregnant and parenting teens, and UAC with special needs.
The residential care provider's facility are required to be licensed by the State in which it is located and designed to serve UAC of all ages and backgrounds for 30-35 days. Residential care providers are required to anticipate that UAC who require a home study will have a longer length of stay in order to complete the home study process and ensure a safe release. A home study is an in-depth investigation of the UAC's needs and the safety issues related to the UAC.
Note: Residential care providers can also apply for ORR/DCS Post Release and Home Study (HHS-2014-ACF-ORR-ZU-0632) Funding Opportunity Announcement.
Residential care providers are required to have a security system to monitor the facility from unauthorized entrance and egress, including the use of alarm systems and video monitoring. All security measures are required to be in compliance with State licensing standards and not pose a threat to the safety of UAC in the event a UAC attempts to run from the facility.
Therapeutic Group Home:
Residential care providers operating a therapeutic group home will serve a subset of the UAC population that would benefit from placement in a small, supervised, structured therapeutic environment but do not require the intensive mental health placement services of a residential treatment center (RTC). Therapeutic group homes are required to be an independent cottage or facility that houses up to 12 UAC with 24-hour staffing and provides intensive supervision and structured daily programming. It is preferred that the educational services for UAC in Therapeutic Group Homes be provided in-house in designated classrooms that prevent UAC from commingling with children or adolescents from other programs. More information regarding educational services can be found in Program Requirements.
UAC who may qualify for placement in a therapeutic group home include:
- UAC discharged from a residential treatment center or a psychiatric hospital;
- UAC requiring more structure and supervision than what is available in a foster home or shelter care setting in addition to significant mental health services;
- UAC with learning disabilities, mild cognitive impairments, and/or developmental disabilities;
- UAC with a history of alcohol and drug use;
- UAC with documented mental health issues, such as depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and anxiety but whose symptoms do not produce a gross impairment in functioning;
- UAC on psychotropic medication;
- UAC with behavior management concerns but do not warrant a staff-secure or secure placement, particularly young UAC; and/or
- UAC requiring more intensive supervision and therapeutic services because of a history of family violence, sexual abuse/assault, and/or physical/emotional abuse with acute symptoms of trauma that cannot be managed in a regular shelter.
During an emergency influx of UAC, Therapeutic Group Home providers are required to have a plan to safely house ‘Basic Shelter Care and/or Group Home’ eligible UAC until beds are available in Basic Shelter and/or Group Home care.
Residential care providers operating a Staff-Secure Care facility will operate a structured, State licensed shelter care facility designed to serve a unique population to include:
- UAC who require close supervision but do not require placement in secure juvenile detention facilities;
- UAC with delinquent behavior, including gang involvement;
- UAC with serious behavior problems; and/or
- UAC who present a low to moderate flight risk.
Staff-secure care providers provide a heightened level of staff supervision, communication, and services for a small population of youth in a basic shelter-like environment. Staff-secure care providers are required to maintain stricter security measures and higher staffing ratios than shelters/group homes in order to control disruptive behavior and discourage flight but should not have lock-down procedures typically associated with juvenile detention facilities. The staff-secure care provider, for example, cannot have strip searches, use of mechanical restraints, cell-like sleeping rooms, or razor wire, but there should be effective monitoring so that entry to and egress from the building is controlled. A staff-secure facility may have a security fence and secure entrance(s) and exit(s).
Staff-secure care providers should provide a heightened level of staff supervision for any and all required community trips (medical, dental, immigration court, etc.). Security and accountability are maintained during transport through procedures, staffing patterns, and effective communication rather than bars, locks, and restraints associated with typical juvenile detention facilities.
Staff-secure care providers should have the capability to control UAC behavior, discourage the flight of high-risk UAC, and maintain constant and continuous supervision of all UAC. For example, staff-secure care providers should have the capability to upgrade to ‘one-on one’ supervision in the event a UAC is a danger to himself and/or others, and/or a flight risk. In order to prevent flight and/or protect the safety of staff and UAC, the use of physical (hands-on) restraint is authorized in cases where UAC are attempting to flee or cause harm to self or others; but the facility should not exceed the level of restraint permitted by the staff-secure care provider's shelter license. Staff should be trained and competent in the use of behavioral management techniques and other alternatives to mechanical restraints.
Staff-secure care providers should provide specialized services for UAC with substance abuse problems, anger management issues, and/or other special behavioral needs in addtition to the services under Program Requirements. As part of case management services, the residential care provider will have to research UAC’s delinquent history and community supervision status, if any, of adjudicated delinquents. Finally, staff-secure care providers will monitor the length of stay of all UAC, timely family reunification and releases, and regularly evaluates the UAC's progress for transfer to a less restrictive setting. UAC with extremely disruptive behavior and/or attempts to flee may also be considered for transfer to a secure care provider.
During an emergency influx of UAC, Staff Secure providers are required to have a plan to safely house ‘Basic Shelter Care and/or Group Home’ eligible UAC until beds are available in Basic Shelter and/or Group Home care.
Therapeutic Staff-Secure Group Home:
Residential care providers operating a therapeutic staff-secure group home will serve a subset of the UAC population who require a staff-secure placement. This therapeutic staff secure group home will serve UAC who would benefit from placement in a small, supervised, structured therapeutic staff-secure environment but who do not require the intensive mental health placement services of a residential treatment center (RTC). The therapeutic staff-secure group home is required to be an independent cottage or facility that houses up to 12 UAC with 24-hour staffing and provides intensive supervision and structured daily programming. Therapeutic Staff-Secure Group Home educational services are required to be provided in-house and in designated classrooms that prevent the UAC from commingling with children or adolescents from other programs.
UAC who may qualify for placement in a therapeutic staff-secure group home include:
- UAC adjudicated and non-adjudicated delinquents, flight risks, attempts to escape or threats to escape, disruptive behavior in a shelter setting, credible threats to commit a violent act or harm another person, inappropriate sexual behavior, arsonists, and/or a criminal or gang history that does not merit placement in a secure facility;
- UAC being discharged from a residential treatment center or a psychiatric hospital;
- UAC requiring more structure and supervision than what is available in a foster home, shelter care setting, or traditional staff secure;
- UAC with learning disabilities, mild cognitive impairments, and/or developmental disabilities;
- UAC with a history of alcohol and drug use;
- UAC with documented mental health issues, such as depression, PTSD, and anxiety but whose symptoms do not produce a gross impairment in functioning;
- UAC on psychotropic medication;
- UAC with behavior management concerns, particularly UAC ages 14 and under, but who do not warrant a traditional staff-secure or secure placement; and/or
- UAC requiring more intensive supervision and therapeutic services because of a history of family violence, sexual abuse/assault; and/or physical/emotional abuse with acute symptoms of trauma that cannot be managed in a shelter or traditional staff-secure placement.
All therapeutic staff-secure group home staff should have child welfare experience and key staff positions, as described under Program Staffing Requirements, should be filled with individuals with professional mental health experience working with children with criminal backgrounds. The therapeutic staff-secure group home environment should be designed to look and feel like a home. Therapeutic services, at a minimum, should include bi-lingual individual psychotherapy, group counseling, psychiatric/psychological evaluation and care, medication management, and crisis intervention services.
During an emergency influx of UAC, Therapeutic Staff-Secure Group Home providers are required to have a plan to safely house ‘Basic Shelter Care and/or Group Home’ eligible UAC until beds are available in Basic Shelter and/or Group Home care.
Residential Treatment Center:
Residential care providers operating a Residential treatment centers (RTC) are required to be licensed as a residential treatment facility in the State in which they are located and are required to also be accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) or an equivalent accreditation agency. RTCs are required to provide services in a highly structured clinical program and have the ability to provide services to UAC with various diagnoses that include, but are not limited:
- Depressive Disorders;
- Oppositional Defiant Disorders;
- Bipolar Disorders;
- Conduct Disorder; and/or
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
RTCs are required to also be able to treat UAC with a history of psychological, physical, sexual or emotional trauma that usually results in depression, dissociative disorders, or PTSD.
Residential care providers operating a secure facility are required to be licensed in the State in which it is located to provide secure care. The secure care provider manages a specialized population of UAC who have exhibited the following behavior:
- violent or criminal behavior that endangers others (e.g. serious assault; carrying weapons in support of violence; sexual predator offenses);
- serious escape history/risk;
- extremely disruptive/dangerous behavior in a shelter; and/or
- disruptive/dangerous behavior in a staff-secure setting.
Secure care providers should provide or have access to specialized services for UAC with substance abuse problems, anger management issues, and/or other special behavior needs. The provider should also have in-house bilingual mental health/clinician services, including psychiatric evaluations and medication assessment and management. Secure care provider does not need to routinely provide recreational or educational outings outside the secure perimeter of facility. However, any special exceptions for outside trips may be approved by the Project Officer in consultation with the Federal Field Specialist. As part of case management services, the provider will have to research the UAC’s delinquent history and community supervision status, if any, of adjudicated delinquents. Finally, the provider will monitor the length of stay of all UAC, timely family reunification and releases, and regularly evaluates the UAC's progress for transfer to a less restrictive setting.
Secure care providers are required to be in full compliance with the U.S. Department of Justice’s regulations on National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape (28 CFR Part 115).
Long Term Foster Care:
Residential care providers operating long term foster care programs are required to be licensed in the State in which they are located to provide long term foster care services and are required to meet the needs of UAC by providing quality care in a community setting. ORR recognizes that implementation of ORR instructions and procedures for the care of UAC in a community setting may differ from shelter care settings, specifically in the areas of residential structure, education, recreation, etc. As a community-based form of care, not all services will be provided directly by the long term foster care provider. UAC who may qualify for placement in long term foster care include UAC:
- with special mental, emotional or physical health needs;
- without an eligible sponsor; and/or
- whose pending immigration case is expected to exceed more than six months.
UAC will access different elements of care in various locations, including but not limited to, public schools, counseling centers, and foster homes. Long term foster care providers, however, remain responsible for ensuring that all required services are properly provided and documented.
Residential care providers are required to provide services in a structured, safe, and productive environment that meets or exceeds respective State guidelines, the Flores Settlement Agreement, and ORR service requirements.
Residential care providers are required to comply with the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) policy and procedures, regulations, unless otherwise expressly waived in the approved application, and all other applicable Federal statutes and regulations in effect during the time that applicant receives grant funding.
Residential care providers are required to provide or arrange for the program required services in a manner that is sensitive to the age, culture, religion, dietary needs, native language, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other important individual needs of each UAC. All critical services and assessments are required to be administered for all UAC even if they are in ORR custody for a short period of time. Residential care providers are required to have the capacity to provide services in the language the majority of UAC in their facility speak.
Residential care providers are required to provide:
- a complete medical examination (including a screening for infectious diseases) within 48 hours of admission, excluding weekends and holidays, unless the UAC was recently examined at another ORR facility;
- appropriate immunizations in accordance with the U.S. Public Health Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
- family planning services
- other appropriate and routine medical and dental care;
- emergency health care services;
- administration of prescribed medication and special diets; and
- appropriate mental health interventions when necessary.
Mental Health Services:
Residential care providers are required to provide clinical services, including regular on-site individual and group counseling sessions and an ability to access community mental health services for UAC with special needs. Community mental health services include psychiatric evaluations, treatment, medication assessments and management, crisis intervention, in-patient acute psychiatric care, and other clinical interventions as identified by ORR.
Individualized Needs Assessments:
Residential care providers are required to provide an individualized assessment for each UAC, which includes:
- initial intake and assessment forms (initial intake assessment, psychosocial summary, trauma, and human trafficking assessment) to gather initial information relating to the UAC's journey; the UAC and family’s psychosocial assessment; trauma and substance abuse history; information about a UAC's work history or concerns about working to pay off debt; exploitation or trafficking concerns; and other essential data relating to the identification and history of the UAC and his/her family;
- assessment of the UAC's mental health and identification of any special medical needs, including any specific issues that may require immediate intervention;
- an educational assessment and plan;
- ongoing assessment of a UAC's behavioral issues and any previous juvenile justice or criminal involvement;
- a statement of religious preference and practice;
- an assessment of the UAC's personal goals, strengths, and weaknesses;
- identifying information regarding the UAC’s immediate family members, other relatives, godparents or friends who may be residing in the U.S. and able to assist in completing a family reunification for the UAC; and
- completing a staff secure, secure and special secure assessment, where applicable, within two weeks of the UAC's arrival.
Individual Service Plan:
Residential care providers are required to complete a comprehensive and realistic Individual Service Plan for each UAC in accordance with the UAC's needs as determined by the Individualized Needs Assessment, and assessment of any trafficking concerns. Individual Service Plans are implemented and closely coordinated through an operative clinical assessment and intervention plan as well as a case management system. In cases where human trafficking is suspected or confirmed, the residential care provider is required to refer the UAC to ORR’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons (ATIP) division and provide or refer the UAC for other services to ensure the UAC has access to all services guaranteed by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2008.
Case Management Services:
Residential care providers are required to implement and administer a case management system that tracks and monitors a UAC's progress on a regular basis to ensure that each UAC receives the full range of program services in an integrated and comprehensive manner. The residential care provider's case management team is also responsible for maintenance of the ORR/DCS database. All placement, transfer, and family reunification requests as well as all significant incident reports are processed through this web-based system. When necessary, the residential care provider's case management staff are required to also work collaboratively with agencies that conduct home studies.
Residential care providers are required to provide at least one individual counseling session per week for each UAC. A qualified and trained mental health clinician conducts the counseling session with the specific objective of assessing and responding to the UAC's mental health needs, reviewing the UAC's progress, establishing new short-term objectives, and addressing the developmental progress, immediate concerns, and crisis-related needs of each UAC.
Residential care providers are required to provide either two group counseling sessions or one group counseling session and one community meeting every week by a qualified and trained staff member. Community meetings usually involve the participation of all UAC and provide new UAC with the opportunity to get acquainted with the staff, other UAC, and the rules of the program. Community meetings provide an open forum for all UAC to discuss and provide input regarding program services, such as recreational activities, food, leisure activities, and program procedures. Group counseling sessions are required to be provided according to a psycho-educational curriculum that may be adjusted according to the needs of the population.
The topics of group counseling sessions are required to include developmentally appropriate educational and skill-building topics.
Family Reunification and Release Services:
Residential care providers are required to develop family reunification and release services to identify appropriate and safe UAC sponsors living in the U.S. Residential care providers will be responsible for accurately documenting their prompt and continuous efforts to reunify and release UAC to U.S. sponsors in accordance to ORR policies and procedures. The provision of reunification services will be monitored and evaluated by ORR, and poor performance may result in corrective actions, a high-risk designation, or termination of the agreement.
Educational services are required to be provided daily, Monday through Friday and appropriate to the UAC's level of development, education, and communication skills. Educational services are required to be administered in a structured classroom setting and concentrate primarily on the development of basic academic competencies and secondarily on English Language Training. The educational program should include instruction and educational and other reading material in such languages as needed. The educational program consists of instruction, educational materials, and other reading materials in the following basic academic areas: Science, Social Studies, Mathematics, Reading, Writing, and Physical Education. Educational services are required to serve both short-and long-term needs of UAC. Residential care providers are encouraged to partner with local school districts for the provision of educational services and/or for curriculum.
Residential care providers are required to ensure that UAC participate in activities according to a recreation and leisure time plan that includes daily outdoor activities, weather permitting, of at least one hour per day of large muscle activity and one hour per day of structured leisure time activities. (This should not include time spent watching television.) Activities are required to be increased to a total of 3 hours daily on weekends and other days when school is not in session.
Acculturation and Adaptation Services:
Residential care providers are required to provide acculturation and adaptation services that include the development of social and interpersonal skills that contribute to the ability to live independently and responsibly in the community. Acculturation and adaptation services may be incorporated into other aspects of the program.
Upon admission, residential care providers are required to provide every UAC with a comprehensive orientation that covers the program’s intent, services, rules (written and verbal), expectations, and the availability of free legal assistance.
Whenever possible, residential care providers must provide or arrange for access to religious services of the minor’s choice.
UAC have the right to make phone calls to family members regardless of the family’s immigration status and includes family members located in the UAC’s country of origin. UAC also have a right to receive visitors. Attorneys of record are required to have reasonable access to UAC according to ORR/DCS instructions and procedures. Visitations, though, may need to occur off the premises of the residential care provider's facility to ensure the safety and well-being of the UAC and other UAC at the facility.
Right to Privacy:
UAC have a reasonable right to privacy that includes the right to: (a) wear his or her own clothes, when available; (b) retain a private space in the residential facility, group, or foster home for the storage of personal belongings; (c) talk privately on the phone, as permitted by the house rules and regulations; (d) visit privately with guests, as permitted by the house rules and regulations; and (e) receive and send uncensored mail unless there is a reasonable belief that the mail contains contraband.
Legal Services Orientation:
Residential care providers are required to inform UAC of the availability of free legal assistance, the right to be represented by counsel at no expense to the Federal Government, and the rights victims of trafficking have under the Trafficking Victims Protect Reauthorization Act of 2008. A private space for the UAC and his/her attorney to meet and confer on legal matters should be made available.
Residential care providers' program rules and discipline standards are required to be formulated with consideration for the range of ages and maturity levels of UAC in the program and with cultural sensitivity towards all UAC. Residential care providers are required to utilize a positive, strength-based behavior management approach, and shall never subject UAC to corporal punishment, humiliation, mental abuse, or punitive interference with the daily functions of living, such as eating or sleeping. Any sanctions employed should not: (a) adversely affect a UAC's health, physical, or psychological well-being; or (b) deny a UAC regular meals, sufficient sleep, exercise, medical care, correspondence privileges, or legal assistance.
Residential care providers are required to have the capacity to transport UAC to and from local airports and appointments (court, legal, medical, and mental health).
Vocational Educational Training Program and/or Activities:
Residential care providers are required to have structured vocational trainings in useful and appropriate skills, such as computer and other technological training, small engine repair, gardening, carpentry, or cooking skills is encouraged. All vocational training is required to be equally available to boys and girls.
The following is not required but an optional service residential care providers can provide.
Digital and Ink-less Fingerprint Services:
Residential care providers implement and administer digital and/or ink-less fingerprint services for UAC sponsor (sponsor and required adult household member). This service is available to sponsors within a four-hour drive of residential care provider's designated service location. This service includes the following: checking sponsor identification; completing required ORR/DCS background check authorization forms; taking digital fingerprints or ink-less fingerprints; if digital, transmitting digital prints on dedicated phone (land line);faxing routing template, authorization forms/copy of ID to ORR/DCS’s security representative; expedited mailing of ink-less prints (two sets) with authorization forms, copy of ID; routing template to ORR/DCS security representative; maintaining log of sponsors served; establish effective bilingual (Spanish) message/phone line to accept appointments; appointments provided no later than three business days from sponsor or case worker’s request, preferably sooner; follow guidance and direction from ORR/DCS and ORR/DCS security representative.
Note: Budgeting for digital fingerprint equipment and ink-less fingerprint equipment is not necessary. Digital and/or ink-less fingerprint equipment is provided to care providers by ORR/DCSs security representative. Additionally, ORR/DCS security representative provides required equipment maintenance and operational supplies. However, applicant provides staff support time; dedicated phone line (land line); copy/faxing services; expedited mailing of ink-less prints.
PROGRAM STAFFING REQUIREMENTS
Residential care providers are required to hire and retain direct care staff with experience in child welfare, youth work, child care, or a related field. The majority of staff who are responsible for delivering direct care is required to be bilingual in English and the language of the majority of UAC under their care. While Spanish is the primary language of the majority of UAC, access to other languages should be available when necessary. Residential care providers are encouraged to identify direct care staff with a minimum level of education equivalent to a high school diploma or higher.
Residential care providers must conduct criminal background checks for all employees that include past convictions of child and sexual abuse. Residential care providers must also demonstrate a commitment to comply with mandatory State reporting requirements for child abuse and neglect. This includes but is not limited to UAC who have been victims of commercial sexual exploitation.
Because State licensing requirements may differ in each state, ORR has established a minimum standard that includes a national criminal history fingerprint check prior to unsupervised access to UAC. Residential care providers should utilize their established licensing process to complete these background checks. However, if State licensing does not require fingerprint checks, the residential care provider should utilize alternative public or private vendors.
Residential care providers are required to ensure that facilities are staffed 24 hours a day. Staffing ratios and plans follow State licensing requirements and ORR policies and procedures but staff to child ratio recommendations should be no more than 1 to 20 for Clinicians and 1 to 15 for Case Workers.
Residential care providers are also encouraged, when feasible, to dedicate staff positions (full-time and/or part-time) for the following responsibilities: Transportation, Recreation, Health/Medical, and Training.
Residential care providers are required to provide direct training or training opportunities to all staff in accordance with state and/or local licensing requirements and ORR instructions and procedures. Required training topics include but are not limited to behavior management, cultural sensitivity, the applicant’s zero tolerance policy towards sexual abuse and sexual harassment, and mental health and child welfare best practices. In addition, staff should receive training on the requirements set forth under: ORR/DCS instructions and policies and procedures; the Flores Settlement Agreement; Section 462 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002; Section 235 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008; the Perez-Olano Settlement Agreement; and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (Pub. L. 113-4). ORR will assist by providing opportunities for applicants to attend trainings on identifying victims of human trafficking.
ORR approval is required for hiring the Program Director, Assistant Program Director (if applicable), Lead Clinician, Clinician, and Lead Case Manager. Exceptions to the required minimum qualifications listed require ORR approval.
Program Director: The Program Director is responsible for the entirety of the program and its outcomes and is the primary liaison to ORR. The Program Director’s primary responsibilities include:
- Overall management of the programmatic, administrative, financial, and operational systems related to the provision of care and services to UAC in accordance with all applicable local, State, and Federal standards, instructions and procedures, regulations, laws, and settlement agreement;
- Provision of regular and timely reports to ORR regarding the care provider’s operations, services, and finances in accordance with the care provider’s cooperative agreement or statement of work;
- Establishing a workplace environment that is respectful and supportive UAC, staff, and external stakeholders; and
- Elevating any issues or concerns to the designated ORR/PO for the program.
At a minimum, all Program Directors are required to have at least a master’s degree in social work (MSW) or an equivalent degree in education, psychology, sociology, or other relevant behavioral science. Alternatively, a Program Director may also qualify with a bachelor’s degree in one of the aforementioned behavioral sciences plus five years of experience in child welfare administration, child protective services, program management, or in a director position of a licensed childcare program.
Assistant Program Director: The need for an Assistant Program Director will vary depending on the number of UAC served at a care provider facility. The Assistant Director provides support to the Program Director and is required to have a relevant bachelor’s degree plus five years of progressive employment experience within a social services or childcare agency or organization.
Lead Clinician: Lead Clinicians have all the responsibilities of a Clinician with the added responsibilities of coordinating clinical services, training new clinicians, and supervising the clinical staff. Lead Clinicians are designated when there is more than one Clinician on staff at a care provider. Lead Clinicians are required to have a master’s degree in social work (MSW) and two years of postgraduate direct service delivery experience or a master's degree or Ph.D. in psychology, sociology, or other relevant behavioral science in which clinical experience is a program requirement plus two years of postgraduate direct service delivery experience. Alternatively, a Lead Clinician may also qualify with a bachelor's degree in one of the aforementioned behavioral sciences plus five years of clinical employment experience in the behavioral sciences. Lead Clinicians are also required to have supervisory experience and current licensure.
Clinicians: Clinicians conduct mental health assessments for all UAC in care as well as provide ongoing individual and group counseling, screening for human trafficking concerns, and crisis intervention. Clinicians are required to be permanent staff members, unless prior authorization is received from the designated ORR/PO for smaller programs to obtain such services through community-based providers. Clinicians are required to have a master's degree in social work (MSW) and have clinical experience as a part of the master’s program requirements. Alternatively, a Clinician may have a Master's degree in psychology, sociology, or other relevant behavioral science in which clinical experience is a program requirement or a bachelor's degree in one of the aforementioned sciences plus five years of clinical employment experience in this area. Clinicians are required to be licensed or license-eligible. License-eligible Clinicians are required to be actively pursuing licensure, and shall obtain licensure as soon as possible.
Lead Case Worker: The Lead Case Worker is responsible for coordinating case management and family reunification services, training new case workers, and supervising the work of other case workers. The Lead Case Worker also serves as a Case Worker, who is responsible for assessing the needs of each UAC in care, developing an Individual Service Plan, screening for human trafficking concerns, facilitating the timely release or discharge of the UAC, and documenting the provision of services in each UAC's case file. Case Workers maintain direct contact with each UAC and, to the extent possible, with the UAC's family. Although Case Workers are primarily focused on completing safe and efficient family reunification, they are also responsible for general case management duties regardless of the UAC’s release options. Lead Case Workers are required to have a master's degree in the behavioral sciences, human services, or social services fields or, alternatively, a minimum of a bachelor's degree and three years of progressive employment experience in the aforementioned fields that demonstrates supervisory and case management experience. All Case Worker staff are required to be computer proficient.
To allow flexibility in the capacity infrastructure, a two-tiered budget is used for this program. The program structure should separate grantee fixed costs from those that would be directly impacted by an increase in capacity.
Fixed Costs would include facility/space, utilities, and core personnel/fringe costs to include administrative staff, licensed administrators, clinical staff and case managers. It would also include additional clinical staff and case managers (at 50 percent of required ratios) so that these staff would already be trained and on board if the emergency expanded level of capacity was requested. Fixed Costs would be detailed by line-item and would support the overall infrastructure to facilitate increases in capacity. For example: Facility/Space-the budget line-item would request funding to support the physical facility with licensed capacity to 96 beds; however, ORR may actually only request 48 beds to be on-line at a particular point in time.
Child Per Capita Costs
Child Per Capita Costs would include food, clothing, medical needs, stipends, toiletries and child care workers (positions that are ratio-based). These costs would be calculated based on the number of beds actually used at any given time to care for UAC. It would also include the additional 50 percent of clinical staff and case management staff (not included in the fixed costs) to meet required ratios for the expansion capacity. These costs would be totaled into a per capita cost per child. For example: $80 per child X 48 beds X 365 days per year.
Based on apprehension rates, if ORR requested the number of children to increase to 96, fixed costs would already be covered in the budget, and per capita costs which would be calculated at the $80 per child per day rate X the number of days requested. These costs would be covered in a supplemental award.