Lessons in Rapid Response: What Funders Can Learn from the Unaccompanied Children Humanitarian Situation

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In 2014, as the humanitarian crisis for unaccompanied children unfolded, philanthropic institutions across California mounted a swift and coordinated statewide response. Funders joined forces to create regional and statewide rapid response funds, deepened their understanding of complex immigrant and refugee systems, engaged with public officials, and coordinated grantmaking strategies. They deployed approximately $5 million and leveraged nearly $3 million in state and county funding to provide mental health services, education, case management, and legal services to children in need.

This brief provides an overview of the philanthropic response and documents best practices and lessons learned that can inform current and future efforts to address the needs of immigrants and refugees in California and across the nation.