Care Provider Facilities Described Challenges Addressing Mental Health Needs of Children in HHS Custody

Care Provider Facilities Described Challenges Addressing Mental Health Needs of Children in HHS Custody

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (September, 2019)
Facilities that care for children in the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s (ORR’s) custody face the difficult task of addressing the mental health needs of all the children in their care, including children who have experienced intense trauma. According to those who treat them, many children enter the facilities after fleeing violence and experiencing direct threats to their safety during their journey to the United States. Some children also experienced the trauma of being unexpectedly separated from their parents as a result of U.S. immigration policies. Facilities must promptly address children’s mental health needs—not only to stabilize each child in crisis, but also to reduce the risk that the child will negatively influence or harm others.