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May 11, 2023 | Documented and Rommel H. Ojeda

HHS: How the Department of Health and Human Services Works

HHS is responsible for the health of Americans and houses the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s Unaccompanied Alien Children Program

-> This article is part of Documented’s Glossary. We want to make it easier to understand the U.S. immigration system. If you want to know more about different visa types and immigration terms, please check our library here.
-> To find useful information for immigrants, such as where to find free food or legal representation, check out our master resource guide.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is part of the executive branch of the United States government. The department was founded on April 11, 1953 and it is tasked with overseeing the health of all Americans by providing “effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services.”

HHS includes several sub-agencies including:

●  The Administration for Children & Families (ACF)

●  The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

●  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

●  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

●  National Institutes of Health (NIH)

ACF also houses the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s (ORR) Unaccompanied Children (UC) Program, which is responsible for providing care for unaccompanied children under the age eighteen who have no lawful immigration status in the United States.

Unaccompanied children are housed at one of the approximately 170 facilities and programs in 23 states funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement while they wait for a suitable “sponsor” to take responsibility for the child’s care. 

Also read: How the Flores Settlement Agreement Affects the Custody of Detained Child Migrants

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