Children and Youth


Children and youth engage in torture treatment services with diverse experiences and a range of needs. Refugee children and youth are often characterized by high rates of exposure to violence, displacement, loss and multiple family stressors, including acculturative stress. The United States accepted more than 73,000 refugees in the last year (Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration, 2010b), and more than 40% of refugee admissions are children (American Psychological Association, 2010).

Given these histories of trauma and adversity, children, youth and their families often arrive at treatment settings in need of specialized mental health services, educational and housing support, medical attention, employment and public benefits. While a number of torture treatment programs in the U.S have been serving the specialized needs of children and youth for many years, a survey conducted in 2010 indicated that many more are just beginning to address this growing portion of their client population.

In March 2012, the National Capacity Building project hosted a training institute dedicated to this practice topic. Resources collected and developed at the institute along with other articles and videos are organized here as a reference for treatment centers beginning to do this work or looking to move their work in this area in a different direction. The topics range from developing a child and youth focused program to specialized interventions for children and youth. We invite you to browse the materials with special attention to a number of webinars and videos with experts in this field.

Thank you!

National Capacity Building Project

Unaccompanied Children

As a part of the National Immigration Law Center's excellent web page on Unaccompanied Children, they created this FAQ about Unaccompanied Children and Healthcare: 

Recently, the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) reported that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has apprehended nearly 63,000 unaccompanied children at the border since October 2013. The vast majority of the children are nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, and are fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries. Most have been apprehended in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley and transferred to a number of temporary and permanent detention centers and housing facilities, primarily in the South and Southwest.

Useful reference documents