In Phoenix, Catholic Charities is a licensed child welfare agency that has provided foster care for foreign-born children since 1984. Since that time, we have served more than 700 children from 30 different countries.

Our Unaccompanied Minor Program (UMP) provides services for foreign-born children who have arrived in the United States without a parent or legal guardian. Whether the child is a refugee with legal immigration status or an undocumented immigrant, the child is placed with a loving, compassionate foster family for safe, nurturing care.

These children are among the most vulnerable children who are in need of foster care because they are alone and often have no one in this country to turn to for help and support. The goal of our program is to meet the children’s basic needs in a safe and nurturing family environment.

We have an urgent need for families who are able and willing to share their home with these children for either long- or short-term care.  As a foster parent, you'll receive these services...

  • Foster families are provided with training to become licensed in the state of Arizona.
  • There is no expense to the foster family.
  • The children have insurance to cover medical needs.
  • Foster parents are provided with a foster care stipend to cover the expenses of adding a new member to the family.

For more information, please contact Kassaw Merie by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or calling 602-530-5520.

Help Support Unaccompanied Minors

If you were a child, alone in a country where no one spoke your language and all customs were strange—how would you cope? This is the life of an unaccompanied minor. They leave their parents, community and country to escape violence and other crisis situations.

Will you join us in helping to provide for these children? By giving a one-time gift of $25, $50 or $150—you’ll help foster families provide for school tutoring, dental care and other needed support. Or consider becoming a monthly donor and joining our Foster Care Fund Team. Together, we can give these little ones the support they need to succeed until they find a permanent home or are reunited with their families.

Give Today

Children like Peter who came from Sudan as one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. His parents, village and extended family were destroyed during war. Peter and other boys started walking, looking for help and safety. Ending up in a refugee camp, Peter eventually was sent to the United States at age 14.

Terrified and not understanding where he was going, Catholic Charities staff met Peter at the airport and took him to his foster care home. Then staff enrolled him in English classes and helped to get him into school.

From there, Peter learned the language and started making friends. He graduated high school and then went to college, getting his bachelor’s degree and becoming a social worker to help other refugees coming to the U.S. Now as an adult, he is providing for himself and has a community he belongs to and loves.

If he hadn’t received the support, life would have been even more difficult. You and Catholic Charities can work to make sure no unaccompanied children coming to the U.S. are alone. By giving a gift of $25, $50 or $150, or becoming a monthly giver on our Foster Care Fund Team, you can help provide for these children’s needs today.

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