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Trauma-Informed Interviewing Techniques

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A toolkit for attorneys, physicians, and other professionals working with children who have experienced trauma.

Audience: Attorneys; Clinical staff; Community health workers

Languages: English

Format: Videos; Guide; Reflection prompts

Key topics: Trauma-informed interviewing; Working with children and teens; Self-care

As a result of the United States’ Zero Tolerance Policy, thousands of children were separated from their caregivers and detained in substandard conditions upon arriving to seek asylum in the US. Forced separation from a primary caregiver, at any age, is considered a major trauma with lasting negative health effects for children and their families.

Hundreds of lawyers and physicians have volunteered their services to the victims of family separation but the resources available to support these professionals are scarce and often inaccessible to busy professionals in need of practical advice and emotional support.

Through the generosity of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, experts in trauma-informed care from the Stanford Center for Health Education and the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) were given the opportunity to support the work of immigration attorneys who visit with and hear directly from these children. This compact video toolkit offers these professionals just-in-time support that will leave them with the strategies and coping skills they need to do this humanitarian work.

Course trailer

Access Resources

This project includes five videos, a written guide, a set of reflection questions, and links to further resources, free for use under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license.

  • Download all resources in the Digital Medic mobile app for iOS and Android

Note: A primary goal while conducting interviews with immigrant children is to avoid re-traumatizing children. Even in a short interview, a trauma-informed approach is crucial to safeguarding a child’s health. The strategies presented in these videos will help interviewers gather accurate information while avoiding additional trauma for both the child and the interviewer. We strongly recommend that interviewers obtain further training from a mental health professional with experience in trauma and development.

Content Guide

VideoYouTubeDigital Medic app
Course TrailerPlay


Introduction to the SeriesPlay


Connecting with Immigrant ChildrenPlay


Supporting Emotional Needs of Young ChildrenPlay


Supporting Emotional Needs of AdolescentsPlay


Proactive Self-Care for Attorneys and Other ProfessionalsPlay


Supporting Emotional Needs of Young Children  | View all videos

Additional Resources

Trauma-informed child interviewing resources and recommendations

Understanding the trauma-informed approach

Resources on secondary stress and vicarious trauma


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