A temporary home for unaccompanied children

Unaccompanied children entering the U.S. need what all children need—a loving environment where they are cared for and safe. But it can take a few months until they’re reunited with their family. That’s why we offer transitional foster care.

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A young girl poses in front of a blue refugee tent.

For children facing a harsh reality

Imagine facing violence, extreme poverty, unexpected separation from your family, gang extortion, or sex trafficking—all before the age of 12. That’s the reality for many unaccompanied children seeking asylum.

The vast majority have one wish: to reunite with their family or a family member who’s already in the U.S. In other words, to live safe and out of harm’s way.

A mother with her toddler daughter on her back walks toward a group of refugees outside a building as the child looks back toward the direction they came from.

You have the power to act

As a transitional foster parent, you’ll provide a safe and loving temporary home for a child until they can be reunited with a family member. You’ll also provide the guidance and emotional support children need to begin healing from their past trauma and grieving the loss of their homeland. Our faith compels us to act.

And if you're ready, we hope you'll take the time to learn more.

FAQs about Transitional Foster Care

What is Transitional Foster Care?

Transitional foster care provides a safe, temporary home to unaccompanied children while we pursue their reunification with family in the United States.

How long does a child need care?

A typical stay is about 1–2 months, but may be more or less depending on the child’s and their family's needs.

Where do the children come from?

Children needing transitional foster care are fleeing community violence and unsafe conditions in Central America, with the most common countries being Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. However, unaccompanied children may also flee violence from other countries, and the U.S. is their first country of asylum.

Do I need to be licensed?

Yes. Bethany provides a fully-integrated program, including licensing and training, case management, a daily educational curriculum, and primary and behavioral health support.

What’s my role as a transitional foster parent?

Foster parents are asked to provide a safe environment and a loving home for a child during a difficult life transition. Foster parents provide transportation to and from school, emotional support, and serve as a valued member of our treatment teams that help to assess and meet the needs of each child.

The journey of an unaccompanied minor

Open your home to an unaccompanied child

In select Bethany branches, we seek transitional foster families for refugee children. If your family is flexible, patient, and willing to provide emotional support, explore how you can become a transitional foster parent.

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