Project

Refugee children in our schools: prevention and intervention of mental health issues

Numerous research studies indicate that refugee children attending schools in California are at greater risk of developing mental health issues due to their experiences which may have included chronic adversities during pre-migration, migration and resettlement (Bhatti, 2010; del Valle, 2002; Fazel & Stein, 2009). Furthermore, prior research by the first author of this project indicated that there was a lack of awareness of refugee children by school psychologists. In addition, dialogue with school psychologists indicated that their lack of knowledge of refugee children was because refugee students can be recognized as English Language Learners and sometimes as homeless students. This lack of awareness prompted these authors to endeavor to assist school administration in the identification process. Knowing the history and cultural practices of the refugee families in California was considered important background information. A Response to Intervention (RtI) prevention/intervention approach utilized by school psychologists or counselors to screen or assess and address these students’ social-emotional and academic needs was discussed.
 
 The information presented in this project was used as the basis for a six-hour training workshop intended to be presented by school psychologists and/or counselors. The intended result is that educators working with refugee students will have empirically based information on how best to screen and intervene with refugee children in their schools.

Project (Ed.S., School Psychology) -- California State University, Sacramento, 2011.

Numerous research studies indicate that refugee children attending schools in California are at greater risk of developing mental health issues due to their experiences which may have included chronic adversities during pre-migration, migration and resettlement (Bhatti, 2010; del Valle, 2002; Fazel & Stein, 2009). Furthermore, prior research by the first author of this project indicated that there was a lack of awareness of refugee children by school psychologists. In addition, dialogue with school psychologists indicated that their lack of knowledge of refugee children was because refugee students can be recognized as English Language Learners and sometimes as homeless students. This lack of awareness prompted these authors to endeavor to assist school administration in the identification process. Knowing the history and cultural practices of the refugee families in California was considered important background information. A Response to Intervention (RtI) prevention/intervention approach utilized by school psychologists or counselors to screen or assess and address these students’ social-emotional and academic needs was discussed. The information presented in this project was used as the basis for a six-hour training workshop intended to be presented by school psychologists and/or counselors. The intended result is that educators working with refugee students will have empirically based information on how best to screen and intervene with refugee children in their schools.

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