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Short-term group intervention for newly arrived refugee children: Helping to rebuild children' lives after trauma

Cecilia Carranza

This paper describes a short-term group intervention conducted with a group of newly arrived pre-adolescent aged 9-12 from Afghanistan in the context of the Early Intervention Program (EIP) of the New South Wales Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS). The paper will emphasize the importance of the refugee child assessment in order to conduct successful brief interventions.

Newly arrived refugees have lived through multiple traumatic experiences for protracted periods in their country of origin and in refugee camps and/or other countries of asylum before resettlement. In addition they have suffered multiple losses and extreme deprivation. These experiences may have a severe impact on the development of children, particularly those who have experienced multiple traumas and losses without the adequate family or social support. During the resettlement period, refugee children have also to deal with the stresses associated with the daunting task of adaptation to a new country. In some cases young traumatised people may carry considerable additional responsibilities brought about by their changing role within their families.


Recorded at the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS)
February 2010, New South Wales, Australia.
Visit STARTTS at : www.STARTTS.org.au

Cecilia Carranza
Cecilia Carranza
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Cecilia Carranza

Cecilia Carranza is a social worker, trained in Australia.  During Cecilia’s professional career she has worked with STARTTS for the last twelve years.
For the last three years Cecilia has worked as a team leader and managed ten counsellors, and also provides clinical supervision to a number of staff. She ialso provides training to other health professionals about working with refugees.
Initially Cecilia worked as a counsellor for seven years with the Early Intervention Program assisting newly arrived refugees to integrate into Australian society. The model used is short term therapy, focussing on reducing the impact of war trauma, torture and loss.
Cecilia began her work at STARTTS as a group worker/case manager with the Spanish-speaking women’s group and implemented a number of innovative programs.
Previously to working at STARTTS she had three and a half years experience as a family support worker in Burnside Family Support Program. In this setting she provided family assessment and developed appropriate case plans in order to bring about positive change for families in crisis. These families were mainly from Non English Speaking Background.
In Argentina she had four and a half years experience in the criminal and children’s court assisting individuals with family related problems. She completed four year of Law degree, but was unable to finish due to her migration to Australia.
It is from her life time working experience and her own migration experience that she draws most of her inspiration and knowledge for this presentation.
 

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