Moving forward: Educational outcomes for Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) exiting foster care in the United States

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Unprecedented numbers of unaccompanied children have migrated to the Southern border of the United States in recent years. Yet, little is known about how these children fare after arrival, including the few who are placed in the federally sponsored Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) foster care programme. Existing research suggests that unaccompanied refugee children, unaccompanied migrant children and foster children each face significant barriers that limit their educational attainment. This study examines educational attainment for children exiting the URM programme in 2015 (n = 193). Longer stays in care are associated with higher educational attainment. Permanent legal status predicts increased high-school graduation rates, but not college enrolment. Significant variation emerged between children from the Northern Triangle region of Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) compared with other countries of origin, as well as across countries within this region. These results are discussed in light of United States policies that may influence the educational attainment of unaccompanied migrant youth.

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About This Study:

Intervention(s): Foster care for URM
Intervention Duration: Unspecified
Relevant ORR Program: Unaccompanied Refugee Minors
Study Type: Suggestive evidence
Full Text Availability: Free
Direction of Evidence: Positive impact
Strength of Evidence: Suggestive
Gender(s) of Participants: All
Age(s) of Participants: Adolescents and/or Youth
Region(s) of Origin of Participants: Multiple Regions

Relevant Evidence Summaries:

The evidence was reviewed and included in the following summaries: