Refugee children transitioning into schools : suggestions for school counseling programs
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With approximately 70,000 refugees entering the United States each year and nearly 40% of those refugees being children, the need to help these children successfully transition into their new schools is critical (Office of Refugee Resettlement, 2015). In order to provide these students with appropriate support we must understand each refugee child individually by learning of their exposure to trauma, their current struggles, how traumatic experiences manifest themselves in behavior, and the valuable perspectives and strengths they bring into their host communities. This report sheds light on some of the traumatic experiences refugee children and their families have survived, challenges that arise during post migration as well as other multicultural considerations. This report also highlights several studies that have been conducted to demonstrate the efficacy of trauma-based interventions and school-based programs that can potentially be helpful when working with refugee students within a school setting. Suggestions are made for school counselors and school staff to raise awareness on the needs of refugee students and how to promote multicultural awareness campus-wide. In addition, this report recognizes the limitations of short-term counseling for refugee children and discusses the importance of further research in the area of providing school counselors with effective strategies to support refugee students within American schools settings.