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Safeguarding the Mental Health of Child Immigrants

Thousands of immigrant children have been forcibly separated from their families at the US border. During interviews, it’s crucial to avoid retraumatization.

Over the past year, our team at Digital Medic has worked collaboratively with faculty at Stanford and the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley to create an educational toolkit aimed at attorneys who advocate for detained immigrant children. 

This month, we are excited to release this compact set of engaging, accessible videos and accompanying resources, which highlight critical practices for effective interviews that safeguard the mental health of children and providers.

Thousands of immigrant children, some as young as 4 months old, have been forcibly separated from their families as part of US immigration policy; tens of thousands have been detained by the US in substandard conditions; and untold numbers have been subject to deterrence efforts at the border. These children and families have fled violence and threats to their lives to seek asylum in the US. 

While conducting interviews, it’s crucial to take measures to avoid re-traumatizing children and youth who have been through difficult experiences. Hundreds of lawyers, paralegals, physicians, and other professionals have volunteered their services to support unaccompanied and separated immigrant children, but specific training and resources on how to prevent the re-traumatization of these children have been largely inaccessible to these busy professionals in need of quick, practical advice and emotional support. 

Project trailer: Trauma Informed Techniques for Interviewing Immigrant Children

As part of Digital Medic's commitment to measuring the effectiveness of our educational interventions, we have relied on focus groups,  screenings, and surveys to collect feedback. We incorporated feedback into a final version. So far, the toolkit and videos have elicited positive feedback from lawyers in the field as well as educators, doctors, and specialists in forensic trauma work. 

“The video is deep and simple. A difficult combination to reach in educational material.”

- Attorney

Explore our Trauma-Informed Interviewing Toolkit

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