The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to take steps to find local relatives of unaccompanied minors held in federal immigration shelters and to provide medical and mental health support.
On a motion from Supervisor Kathryn Barger, the board voted to have county counsel request permission from federal authorities to visit facilities housing unaccompanied, undocumented minors.
The Long Beach City Council, at the request of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is expected to approve using that city’s convention center to shelter migrant children arriving from Mexico.
“With Long Beach moving forward, time is of the essence for us to provide all the support we can,” Barger said.
Barger reminded her colleagues that in April 2018, the Department of Children and Family Services identified 72 UUM children from Central America, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. The aim of her motion is to ensure that the appropriate resources remain in place.
DCFS will also seek foster families for unaccompanied minors without local family.
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said she wanted to be sure that “every effort be made to identify any family they have.”
In addition to identifying family members who are willing to take the children in, the board hopes to offer trauma-based medical and mental health care to children remaining in emergency shelter.
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