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The experience of working with refugee children in Sweden: Addressing the social and mental health needs of refugee children from the perspective of those working with them

Török, Eszter LU (2015) PSYP01 20151
Department of Psychology
Abstract (Swedish)
Prior to resettlement, refugee children are exposed to stressors that leave them vulnerable to the development of health and psychosocial problems. The nature of these problems has been identified in numerous studies involving refugee children and their parents, yet relatively few studies have been carried out with workers from governmental and voluntary organizations. The primary aim of this study was to explore the workers’ views on (a) refugee policy and (b) the mental health and social needs of refugee children. The secondary aim was to pilot questions used during the interviews to see if those were valid for potential use of a largescale survey of refugee workers. Following the principles of hermeneutical interpretation of 12... (More)
Prior to resettlement, refugee children are exposed to stressors that leave them vulnerable to the development of health and psychosocial problems. The nature of these problems has been identified in numerous studies involving refugee children and their parents, yet relatively few studies have been carried out with workers from governmental and voluntary organizations. The primary aim of this study was to explore the workers’ views on (a) refugee policy and (b) the mental health and social needs of refugee children. The secondary aim was to pilot questions used during the interviews to see if those were valid for potential use of a largescale survey of refugee workers. Following the principles of hermeneutical interpretation of 12 semi-structured interviews with Swedish workers, the findings were expressed in five master themes: ‘main responsibilities and tasks’, ‘obstacles within the job’, ‘need for improvements’ ‘alarming signs of the asylum process’, ‘importance of networking’. The results show that safeguarding the best interests of children is often hindered by the lengthyasylum procedure, the lack of knowledge about traumatization, the differing practices of municipalities, the inadequate housing facilities and the long waiting-times to be enrolled in school. Crucial factors for improving services appear to be more training for workers; unified policies; bigger workforces; and better cooperation between organizations. The interview questions yielded responses that were consonant with the aim of the study thus appeared to have good construct validity. After minor alterations they could form the basis of a new scale for assessing workers’ views on the needs of refugee children. (Less)
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author
Török, Eszter LU
supervisor
organization
course
PSYP01 20151
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
traumatization, asylum procedure, hermeneutical interpretation, refugee, policy, mental health
language
English
id
7853562
date added to LUP
2015-09-07 09:19:48
date last changed
2015-09-07 09:19:48
@misc{7853562,
  abstract     = {Prior to resettlement, refugee children are exposed to stressors that leave them vulnerable to the development of health and psychosocial problems. The nature of these problems has been identified in numerous studies involving refugee children and their parents, yet relatively few studies have been carried out with workers from governmental and voluntary organizations. The primary aim of this study was to explore the workers’ views on (a) refugee policy and (b) the mental health and social needs of refugee children. The secondary aim was to pilot questions used during the interviews to see if those were valid for potential use of a largescale survey of refugee workers. Following the principles of hermeneutical interpretation of 12 semi-structured interviews with Swedish workers, the findings were expressed in five master themes: ‘main responsibilities and tasks’, ‘obstacles within the job’, ‘need for improvements’ ‘alarming signs of the asylum process’, ‘importance of networking’. The results show that safeguarding the best interests of children is often hindered by the lengthyasylum procedure, the lack of knowledge about traumatization, the differing practices of municipalities, the inadequate housing facilities and the long waiting-times to be enrolled in school. Crucial factors for improving services appear to be more training for workers; unified policies; bigger workforces; and better cooperation between organizations. The interview questions yielded responses that were consonant with the aim of the study thus appeared to have good construct validity. After minor alterations they could form the basis of a new scale for assessing workers’ views on the needs of refugee children.},
  author       = {Török, Eszter},
  keyword      = {traumatization,asylum procedure,hermeneutical interpretation,refugee,policy,mental health},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The experience of working with refugee children in Sweden: Addressing the social and mental health needs of refugee children from the perspective of those working with them},
  year         = {2015},
}