Unaccompanied refugee minors from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Myanmar, and Somalia: Educational attainment, economic well-being, and social ties in the United States
In 2019, there were 21.3 million refugees around the globe. A small number of these are accepted to the United States each year under the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Foster Care Program. There is currently limited research on the outcomes of young adults served through this unique program. In this paper, we share outcomes (educational attainment, economic well-being, and social ties) for young adults who leave care from the countries of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Myanmar, and Somalia. The authors report descriptive statistics for young adults who discharged from the foster care program (n = 388) as well as Pearson’s Chi-square tests to test correlations between outcomes and country of origin. Results show that youth from Myanmar is most likely to be enrolled in college at time of discharge. Youth from the DRC is equally likely to be enrolled in college or to have only completed a GED or high school diploma. Youth from Myanmar is more likely to be employed than youth from other countries. Eritrean youth was more likely to be lacking economic self-sufficiency at time of discharge than youth from other countries. Results from this study suggest ways that service providers can tailor service plans to help youth from different countries achieve the best outcomes, and pose questions for future research.
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