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Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry ; 61(10 Supplement):S124, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2076262


Objectives: Participants will become familiar with the Mental and Behavioral Health Services Team in the Unaccompanied Minors Program in the Office of Refugee and Resettlement (ORR). Participants will be able to identify the challenges in delivering mental health care to a large, transient, population of children exposed to significant trauma, who arrive in the United States without a parent or legal guardian. Participants will learn ways to become involved in the care of migrant children. Method(s): This presentation will describe the mission of the Mental and Behavioral Health Services Team in the Division of Health for Unaccompanied Children (UC) in the ORR. The presenters will share information about the perils of the journey to the United States, the care of migrant children after referral from border control until re-unification with sponsors, and the logistical hurdles in identifying sponsors and establishing ongoing care after reunification or long-term foster care placement. We will discuss the challenges of delivering preventative and clinical mental health services during COVID-19, during large influxes of children, and in unique populations such as during the Afghanistan evacuation. Finally, we will discuss ways in which we are continuously improving our program with partners in academic and governmental agencies. Result(s): Between January 2021 and February 2022, over 150,000 UCs were referred to ORR care. While awaiting reunification with an identified sponsor, the majority of the children are cared for in over 200 state-licensed shelters scattered throughout the continental United States. The medical teams are charged with providing for their physical and mental health. The mental health team guides the care of these children through various methods, including the monitoring of documentation and consultation with care programs, ORR colleagues, and community mental health providers. Conclusion(s): Children who arrive in the United States without parents/guardians present with unique mental health needs. Cultural sensitivity and trauma-informed approaches to care are essential in meeting these needs. ORR continues to evolve to meet these challenges and invites child and adolescent psychiatrists in the community to engage with this population. IMM, SP, TRA Copyright © 2022