Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Urban & Regional Planning


Urban and Regional Planning

First Advisor

Michela Zonta


This thesis investigates how administrators and staff at a community service agency in Richmond Virginia perceive the needs of unaccompanied refugee children as they transition into the American way of life and the challenges associated with the relocation of these children into foster care setting, and how service delivery to meet these children’s needs might be improved. A common theme that emerged from interviews conducted with these administrators is that successful integration of unaccompanied refugee minors into American society requires from the very start culturally competent approaches to placement, language assistance, and mental health therapy. Options for improving resettlement of these minors within the context of cultural competency include establishing culturally sensitive community drop-in centers, recruiting mentors such as culturally diverse celebrities and athletes to help facilitate the transition of these youth and enrolling these children in culturally diverse Outward Bound programs to encourage physical fitness.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

January 2011