‘Trying to Understand: Promoting the psychosocial well-being of separated refugee children‘ by Dost’s Director, Yesim Deveci, has been published in the peer reviewed Journal of Social Work Practice: Psychotherapeutic Approaches in Health, Welfare and the Community, Volume 26, Issue 3, 2012
The paper explores a holistic relationship-based approach to promoting the well-being of separated refugee children in the UK. Based on children’s testimonies and case examples gathered over the past 10 years, it provides an overview of the practical and emotional support needs of separated children, including the asylum process, education, social services support, accommodation and health, from the point of arrival in the UK and through the transition to adulthood.
Reflecting on practice, the paper explores strategies for supporting children suffering mental distress and considers the critical role that practitioners can play in the healing process by helping children to make sense of their experiences. Finally, the paper discusses the importance of both professional and personal relationships in enabling children to develop a sense of belonging and providing opportunities to share and create positive memories, which can help them move beyond stories of loss towards a more hopeful future.