Brother and sister separated from parents are hugging each other in a foreign country, across a river.

Acacia Center for Justice Becomes the Prime Contractor for the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s Unaccompanied Children Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 15, 2023

CONTACT: Madison Allman |

[WASHINGTON] As of December 1, 2023, the Acacia Center for Justice has become the prime contract holder for the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s Unaccompanied Children Program, providing legal information and representation to children who arrive in the United States alone. The Vera Institute of Justice previously held the five-year contract, with Acacia as the implementing program administration partner. The novation – or transfer — of this contract from Vera to Acacia is the final step in consolidating program administration services that began when Acacia spun off from Vera two years ago.

Shaina Aber, Executive Director of the Acacia Center for Justice, issued the following statement to welcome the news: “Children who arrive unaccompanied at our doorstep seeking protection and a better life should be represented by dedicated lawyers who will work with them throughout their immigration proceedings. Acacia has provided for the representation and legal assistance of unaccompanied children through our national network of Legal Service Providers for the contract’s first two years. With the consolidation of the program management roles under Acacia’s stewardship, we can further expand our services and support to vulnerable children. 

“Acacia’s staff – many of whom ran the Unaccompanied Children Program at Vera before moving to Acacia – have decades of expertise in child welfare, immigration law, social services, contract administration, and government relations. We will continue to deliver the same level of high-quality, trauma-informed engagement to the children we represent and serve alongside our dedicated network of community-based partners in the field. Together, we will work toward our collective vision of ensuring holistic and humane legal services to all immigrant children facing detention and deportation. 

Press inquiries about the Acacia Center for Justice or the Unaccompanied Children Program are welcome at


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About Acacia Center for Justice

Acacia Center for Justice delivers and advocates for meaningful and effective access to justice and freedom for immigrants at risk of detention or deportation in partnership with an accountable, independent nationwide network of immigrant legal service providers and community partners. Acacia Center for Justice’s reach and impact are unparalleled. The national nonprofit currently operates seven federally funded programs and one state funded program through a network of nearly 60 legal service providers located in over 80 offices across the country.