UNICEF’s new report, Building Bridges for Every Child: Reception, Care and Services to Support Unaccompanied Children in the United States, considers global discussions on adequate reception and care for unaccompanied migrant and asylum-seeking children. With a focus on practical solutions and promising practices in the U.S. and from around the globe, the report seeks to bridge the worlds of international child rights and protection, immigration and domestic child welfare. It illustrates how reception, care and services for unaccompanied migrant children in the U.S. can be built around the best interests of each child.
Following the journey of children traveling alone from northern Central America to the U.S. – entering, navigating and leaving the U.S. reception and care system and transitioning to community life – this report presents eight overarching recommendations for the realization of a better and more equitable system of care and support for every child, no matter their story, where they were born, or why they arrived unaccompanied. These recommendations provide a roadmap to develop a long-term vision for a system that protects and supports unaccompanied children along every step of their journey so that every child can reach his or her full potential.