Journey Of Hope

Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program

Administered from our Northern California office located at:
6248 Birdcage Street
Citrus Heights, CA 95610

Call 951-695-3336 for details.

Unaccompanied and Refugee Foster Care

Family is one of the ideal places for a child to grow and develop into healthy adulthood. Each year thousands of children are separated from their families due to war, conflict, natural disaster or abuse by caregivers who were meant to protect them. These situations create upheaval in their lives forcing them to flee from countries in Central America, Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. They embark on dangerous journeys seeking a place they can be safe and call home.

Each refugee or unaccompanied child has a different story, but the love and support you can provide will change your and their life forever. Contact us to find out how this new chapter can begin as your family offers hope and healing to a child from another country.

What Does It Take To Become a Refugee Foster Family?

  • Passion to invest in a child’s future and create a new family together
  • Time to spend with the child daily, time to take the child to medical, counseling and other appointments, time to meet with and learn from foster program staff
  • Openness to learn about your child’s culture, country and background and a willingness to share your culture as well

Each family is unique! Just as children’s stories are unique and diverse, so too are the stories of the families who foster them. Foster families come from diverse cultural backgrounds, are single or married, have children or have no prior parenting experience.

The Process: Refugee Foster Care

Learn about becoming a foster parent for unaccompanied youth.

Become a licensed foster parent. Each state’s timelines and requirements are different but typically include:

  • Attending an orientation session
  • Completing an application
  • Providing references
  • Documentation and financial stability
  • Fingerprinting and background check
  • Interviews with the family
  • Home study assessment

Get Trained. Foster parent training is typically 6-8 sessions plus specialized sessions on fostering unaccompanied and refugee youth.

Become a Host Home

Host Home families rent a room to youth who no longer need the extra guidance of a foster family, but are not ready to be entirely on their own. Unlike families fostering refugees, host families provide guidance and help teach life skills necessary for successful independence, like cooking, budgeting, and maintaining a household, applying for jobs and colleges. Host homes are paid monthly rent by the youth, negotiated before a youth moves into the home.

What do foster parents say about the benefits of fostering a refugee or unaccompanied child?

“Sense of being a real help to someone in profound and life-changing ways on a day to day basis is tremendously rewarding.”

“Being able to introduce a child to so many new things and see it through their eyes.”

“Prepare to be in it for the long haul. Have fun with the child and give yourself time to grow to love them. Invest all you can into them because if you stay with them, your investment stays with them.”

What are children saying about being in a foster family?

“I am happy. I have brothers and sisters, a mom and a dad, a church, and no soldiers. I am happy.”

“My experience is that I have this family, like my real family, which [makes me] feel safe.”

“They love me and include me in their family. They are the best parents ever!”

The rewards of fostering refugee and unaccompanied youth are countless. Refugee and unaccompanied children range in age from 0-21 and come from all around the world. Each child has their own unique story and they all need a safe and loving family in the United States.

Host Home & Bridge Home Application Form

Our Greatest Need

We are urgently seeking foster Families for Unaccompanied youth in need of a loving home.

Thousands of youth have been displaced in the current migrant crisis, and many of them need a safe and stable place to call home until they are able to be reunited with family.

Foster Families Urgently Needed

Join ICA in our mission to provide vulnerable youth with the opportunity of living in family environments, which are essential for their development and well-being.

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