Knowledge Base

What if the child is reluctant to open up about their family?

What if the child is reluctant to open up about their family?

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Whenever a child is separated from the family, they may not be willing to share where they came from because of the trauma associated with the reason for separation. Due to this, the case worker needs to sensitive and skillful in undertaking family tracing.

Guidelines and tips

    Work together with the child’s school, church or local administration officer.
    Ensure the children’s physical and psychological well being
    Patiently and gently seek to involve the child in tracing the family.
    Priority must be given to building knowledge about the nature and scale of family separations and the extent (geographical spread and severity) of protection risks faced by children.
  • Emphasis should also be put on expanding understanding about the degree and the effects of child protection challenges on the communities in terms of age, gender, ethnicity and other social variables.
  • Identify and review existing community mechanisms and capacities that can help in the prevention and response to family separations and support tracing and reintegration efforts

Provide mental health and psychosocial support to children and their families

  • Establish and support contact between children and families and prepare them for reunification.
  • Strengthen access to child-appropriate mental health and psychosocial support services that are accessible within social distancing guidelines.
  • Update children, families, and caregivers on their cases through appropriate platforms in a timely, safe, accessible, and age and gender appropriate manner.
  • Designate staff member (if not already designated) that has skills in trauma-informed counseling to talk through challenges with the child. Such a staff may include a pastor, caregiver, social worker or psychologist. Free trauma-informed training can be found on JourneyHome.
  • Consider and utilize traditional counseling and grief processing traditions that are indigenous to the community in which you serve.
  • If in the process of psychosocial support, it’s uncovered that the potential placement would not be safe, trace other family or identify other community members that could potentially receive the child.