Immigrant Youth Services

About Morrison’s ORR services

  • 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 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.
  • We do not run detention centers. We do not work for Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement (ICE), nor do we receive any funding from them.
  • Last year we served approximately 300 youth through our ORR-funded residential programs and 200 youth through our home study and post-release services.
  • 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.

How do the youth end up in our care?

  • 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, which then places them in programs like ours. Determination of placement in our various services is solely decided by ORR.
  • We provide services and care until they are united with family or a sponsor such as a family friend.

How do we care for the youth?

  • Immediately upon arrival, each youth receives food, clothing, access to showers, and personal hygiene supplies.
  • An initial orientation with each youth includes outlining our work with finding them family or sponsors in the United States. During orientation we ask them about any health issues, special needs, life in their home country, and their journey to the US.
  • We provide nutritious meals, clothing, shoes, hygiene supplies, bedroom furnishings, recreational activities and supplies, and transportation (to attend appointments and when needed to place youth with family or sponsors) for all youth in our ORR programs.
  • The vast majority of our Morrison ORR staff are bilingual. Many are Native Spanish speakers.
  • 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. Examples of these opportunities include field trips, playing soccer, yoga, dance, art projects, gardening, and meditation.
  • All youth are able to receive family/sponsor visits, meet with external attorneys, consult with independent case coordinators, and speak with their home country’s consulate.
  • Our staff provide supportive counseling, educational services, health-screenings, and access to legal, medical, mental health, and substance use resources.
  • Morrison’s services are driven by a trauma-informed approach called the Sanctuary Model and follow community equity and inclusion standards and principles.

Why do we provide these services?

  • In 2009, we began working with the Office of Refugee Resettlement (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 Morrison out because of our extensive experience with mental health, residential care, child welfare principles, our holistic perspective, and our commitment to supporting families.
  • Federal law and the Flores Settlement Agreement (1997) require that these services be provided and that programs like ours exist.
  • The primary goals of our ORR programs are to provide the youth in our care with a safe, supportive, and culturally responsive environment and to place them with family or sponsors.

How do we ensure the safety of the youth in our care?

  • 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 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 high quality and in compliance with federal and state regulations.
  • The youth served by our ORR programs represent an especially vulnerable population, as these individuals are often escaping exploitation, trafficking, violence, or the threat of violence in their home country. ORR policies ensure and support us to have practices in place which assure the privacy and safety of the youth in our care.

 For more general information please refer to ORR’s website https://www.acf.hhs.gov/orr/programs/ucs/about