Congolese Children and Youth: USCCB Network Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program Experiences and Implications

Mar 01, 2013 | by
  • Description

While over thousands of Congolese have resettled through the adult resettlement program, the USCCB network has assisted a smaller number of approximately 100 children and youth between 2007 through early 2013. However, Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) from the DRC represent the country of origin of the largest number of overseas arrivals to the URM program network. One of USCCB's roles is to examine trends affecting the URM program and address issues related to capacity development. We wished to understand the individual and program needs for this population in particular, as resettlement of Congolese URMs is expected to continue and increase in the next several years. Between November 2012 and March 2013, USCCB conducted informal interviews with program managers by phone or in person, or received written survey responses from each program. The responses of all twelve network programs are reflected in this synthesis of the collective experience providing resettlement support to the Congolese URMs from 2007 through early 2013. A number of themes emerged from the URM program responses which are described throughout this paper which also reflects the knowledge and experience of USCCB staff in conducting case coordination and placement and capacity development.