Immigrant Youth Services



Updated July 2019

Morrison is proud to provide a wide range of services for youth and families, including residential foster care and support services for immigrant youth, ages 13-17.  These include a Short Term Shelter, Staff Secure Care, and a Long Term Group Home. We do not run detention centers. We also provide home-study services and post-release follow-up support services to assist youth in connecting them with helpful community resources after arriving with family or sponsors. The primary goals of our programs through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) are to provide the youth in our care with a safe, supportive, and culturally responsive environment and to place them with family or sponsors.  Federal law and the Flores Settlement Agreement (1997) require that these services be provided and that programs like ours exist.

  1. In 2009 we began working with ORR, a program of the Administration for Children and Families, within the federal Department of Health and Human Services, to provide residential and social services for these youth. ORR sought out our services because of our extensive experience with mental health programs, residential care, our holistic perspective, and our commitment to supporting families.  We do not work for Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement (ICE), nor do we receive any funding from them.
  2. Immediately upon arrival, each youth receives food, clothing, access to showers, and hygiene supplies. An initial orientation with each youth includes outlining our work towards placing them with family or sponsors.  During orientation, we ask them about life in their home country, their journey to the US, as well as their experience with Border Patrol.  Any concerns with Border Patrol conditions are reported through a formal incident notification process by Morrison staff and submitted to ORR for review.
  3. We provide nutritious meals, clothing, shoes, hygiene supplies, bedroom furnishings, recreational activities and supplies, and transportation (to attend appointments or to place youth with family or sponsors, when needed). Our predominantly bilingual and bicultural staff also provide supportive counseling, educational services, health-screenings, and access to legal, medical, mental health, and substance use resources. Morrison’s services are influenced by a trauma-informed approach called the Sanctuary Model.
  4. Morrison’s ORR programs ensure the provision of education and recreation. Youth at Morrison have access to a wide range of extracurricular and social activities. Among other examples, these opportunities include field trips, playing soccer, yoga, dance, art projects, gardening, and meditation.
  5. All youth and families we serve at Morrison are important. Last year we served approximately 300 youth through our ORR residential funded programs, 200 youth through home study and post-release services, and 7700 children, youth, and families through our Oregon funded comprehensive behavioral health and prevention programs.  Our work with immigrant youth has positively influenced our work with all 8200 youth and families served throughout Morrison.
  6. The immigrant youth in our programs are placed with us by ORR because they are unaccompanied. This means that the youth are under the age of 18, do not have legal status, and are not with a parent or legal guardian. Per the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPRA), within 72 hours of being identified, youth are transferred into the custody of ORR, who then places them in programs like ours. Determination of placement in our various services is decided by ORR.
  7. All youth are able to receive family/sponsor visits, to meet with external non-Morrison attorneys, to consult with independent (non-Morrison) case coordinators, and to speak with their home country’s consulate. In addition, we operate within a wide range of comprehensive regulations and requirements set forth by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the State of Oregon’s Department of Human Services Child Welfare Office to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of youth served. State and federal sanctioned auditors provide both scheduled and unannounced visits to meet with the youth and hear about their experience in care (as well as to review the facility for safety and to ensure compliance). These audits have consistently found that Morrison’s facilities and services are of high quality and in compliance with federal and state regulations.
  8. The youth served by our ORR programs represent an especially vulnerable population, as these individuals are often escaping trafficking, violence, or the threat of violence in their home country.  Consequently, ORR requires and supports us to have practices in place which ensure the privacy and safety of the youth in our care. ORR does not permit us, under any circumstances, to release any information regarding specific youth in our care except to those separate agencies who frequently monitor our programs. Through an ORR-managed process, elected officials can request facility tours.
  9. We have the experience with residential care and child welfare to ensure that these youth are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve while going through a family finding process. To date, over 1,000 youth coming from 20 different countries and speaking 23 different languages, have been successfully placed with family or sponsors by Morrison.

 For more general information please refer to ORR’s website