The past five years have seen numerous communications challenges for unaccompanied children's providers and advocates, along with substantial threats to the well-being of unaccompanied children (UC) themselves. In 2018, under the Trump Administration, shelters were targeted as sites of protest during the height of the Family Separation policy. More recently, 2021 and into 2022 have seen attacks on UC care providers from state governors who want to end the care of unaccompanied children in their states.
This brief provides two key principles for strategic communications around the UC system, and five communications strategies for putting those principles into practice. Advocates and shelter care providers know the importance of providing care for unaccompanied children. To continue to provide that care, the program needs support from Congress, the Administration, members of the public, and state government officials. It is in the children's best interest to be able to effectively communicate and advocate on their behalf.