Unaccompanied Minor Program

Catholic Charities finds caring foster homes for unaccompanied minors which are foreign-born children in the United States without parents or legal guardians. This includes refugee children who have lost or become separated from their parents and relatives due to war or persecution.


When they arrive, after being processed by the Department of Health and Human Services, we immediately enroll them in school and find loving foster homes where they will feel safe and begin a new life in their new country.

For more information, please contact Joanne Morales, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

How it Works: Gloria’s Story

Honduras is one of Latin America’s poorest countries. It has the highest murder rate in the world.

Gloria made the perilous journey to the United States from Honduras at the age of 16 with her infant son. She was fleeing the violence and gangs that permeated her life.

After arriving in the United States, Gloria and her son were accepted into the unaccompanied minor program (UMP) at Catholic Charities. This started her on a path of safety and hope.

She was placed with a foster family, enrolled in school and began to learn English and catch up on her education. She also started learning parenting skills to better care for her son.

Now, at age 19, Gloria speaks fluent English and was accepted to the certified nursing assistant program. 

“I am very thankful for my foster parents,” says Gloria.  “My son is my priority—but getting an education is very important to me.”

Gloria’s foster family and case manager are helping her master independent living skills so she will be able to live on her own when she is ready. Gloria and her son participate in all family activities, including a trip to Disneyland last year. Although there was no official adoption, they all consider themselves family.

Gloria’s son even calls her foster parents, Grandma and Grandpa.

Gloria and her son now have many things they never had in Honduras. They have hope for a bright future and a family that will love them forever.

For more information, please contact Clairette Clinger at 602-944-1819, ext. 51811 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

“D” Sings Nikumbushe


Watch “D” sing Nikumbushe, which in Swahili, his native tongue, means “Remind me.” He always wants to remember his experience as an unaccompanied minor with Catholic Charities because it was the start of a whole new life for “D.”

Watch “D” sing Nikumbushe, which in Swahili, his native tongue, means “Remind me.” He always wants to remember his experience as an unaccompanied minor with Catholic Charities because it was the start of a whole new life for “D.”

Catholic Charities is committed to making reasonable accommodations to the special needs of individuals with disabilities meeting the eligibility requirements of all versions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) so these persons have access to available employment opportunities and services. To contact us if you are deaf or hard of hearing, please dial 7-1-1 to access the free telecommunications relay service.