Services for Unaccompanied Children

Our mission is to take care of children, no matter the circumstances. VQ believes that every child deserves respect, a safe environment and a loving home.

VQ works with the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to provide shelter and care to unaccompanied children and teens who enter the United States without a parent or guardian.

We strive to make youth feel as safe and comfortable as possible while we search for a permanent residence for them. Most youth are with us for less than 30 days.

The moment a youth enters one of our programs, we do everything in our power to ensure they feel welcomed. Many of them have had very difficult journeys to get to where they are and we want them to feel as if they are finally safe. While they are with us, each child is treated with the utmost respect. We provide them with fresh clothes, hot meals, and a bed of their own to sleep in. As we continue to care for them, our staff dedicate themselves to contacting each child's family members in their home country and work to identify any and all family members who reside in the U.S. A majority of children are united with family members or approved sponsors within a month of arrival.

Key Qualities

Nutritious and Culturally Appropriate Meals and Snacks

New Clothing and  Personal Hygiene Items

Personalized Space including a bed, desk and dresser

Recreational Activities including sports, art and music

Guided Life Skills

Individualized Daily Classroom Education

Healthcare
Including vaccines,  routine physicals and dental exams

Mental Health Services including trauma informed counseling.

Some children, if they are unable to be placed rapidly, enter our Long Term Foster Care program.

Our first priority is to the safety and wellbeing of the children within our care. If no suitable sponsor for a child is located, the child may be moved into our Long Term Foster Care program. In this program, youth reside in our Pathfinder homes, attend public school and volunteer in their communities , while our case managers work with legal assistance programs to establish permanent legal residency and placement for the youth.

For more information about ORR click here

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the VQ refugee facilities to be located?

Our facilities are currently located in southern Arizona, but we are constantly searching for different areas to expand into should the opportunity and necessity arise. Our facilities are strategically located to reduce travel times for youth from ORR custody as well as into the custody of their sponsor.

Where are unaccompanied children currently being housed?

Before they come to stay in VQ facilities, unaccompanied children are typically kept in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody.

How will your shelters be different from what they currently have?

Our shelters provide youth with fresh clothes, hot meals, and spaces to call their own. In addition to this, we offer each youth the proper education for their age while they are enrolled in our programs, but we also ensure that they have leisure time and space for activities, both indoors and outdoors.

How long do children typically stay within the program?

A majority of the cases in these programs are placed into the care of a sponsor within a month of arrival, though some cases do take longer. If a suitable sponsor is not able to be identified for a child, they are transitioned into a long-term foster care program until a more permanent solution can be found.

Why are you accepting contracts to detain migrant children?

Regardless of their immigration status, VQ believes that every child deserves to have a place where they can feel respected and cared for. We provide that place for youth that we take in while a sponsor who can care for them more permanently is found. We also place an emphasis on using the least restrictive measures possible in these programs to prevent youth from feeling trapped in any way.

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Chief Dan Old Elk Village

Tucson, AZ

Age

Gender

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5 - 17

Gender

Females

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Age

11 - 17

Gender

Males

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Chief Dan Old Elk Village
Tucson, AZ
Chief Dan Old Elk Village
Tucson, AZ
Gender
Age
# of Homes
Phone #

The Chief Dan Old Elk Village is a 30-bed program for young women located in Tucson, Arizona. This program is made up of a collection of small residential units to house youth while they are taught life skills, given access to education, and given trauma-informed care.

Program Director
Liliana Sanchez
Gwen Mckeal Center
Tucson, Arizona
Gwen Mckeal Center
Tucson, Arizona
Gender
Females
Age
5 - 17
# of Homes

The Gwen McKeal program is a 20-bed residential program for young women located in Tucson, Arizona. This program provides a heightened level of care while providing youth with access to education and life skills alongside trauma-informed care to assist them in dealing with the challenges they face.

Program Director
Liliana Sanchez
Sam Mahan Center
Benson, Arizona
Sam Mahan Center
Benson, Arizona
Gender
Males
Age
11 - 17
# of Homes

A 60-bed residential program for young men located in Benson, Arizona, the Sam Mahan Center offers safe residential care for males ages 11 to 17. The program offers Education, Life Skills Instruction, Medical Care, Clinical Services, Recreation and Family Reunification.

Program Director
Lorel Donaghey