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Supporting Resilience in Refugee Children

by Heather Savazzi
September/October 2018
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Article Link: http://childcareexchange.com/article/supporting-resilience-in-refugee-children/5024359/

While the terms “refugee families” and “refugee children” are used throughout this article to increase readability, it is important to recognize that children
and families are not defined by their experiences, and for this reason, the preferred terms are “families or children who have experienced forced migration.”

When I first started my work with immigrant and refugee families, I was an early childhood educator fresh out of university and college, with big dreams of helping children and families overcome adversity. I knew if I could tap into the tremendous potential for resilience and growth that exists in early childhood, and reach out and provide support to children and parents in the early years, then I would have a chance to make a difference, one family at a time. Little did I know that, two decades later, I would still be doing research, spending time learning with programs across Canada, and developing resources and training to support this same goal.

Research and experience tell us that many of the things we already do in early childhood programs, such as providing safe, predictable routines; helping children manage feelings and behaviors; and providing creative, sensory and physical activities, not only support healthy child development, ...

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