When the children cry : Social workers experiences when exposed to traumatic narratives shared by unaccompanied refugee children

University essay from Högskolan i Gävle/Avdelningen för socialt arbete och kriminologi

Abstract: My aim was to explore the experiences of social workers working with unaccompanied refugee children when hearing traumatic narratives shared by the children. This is a qualitative research based on semi-structured interviews with three social workers with experience of working with these children in the social services in Sweden. The transcribed interviews have been interpreted with themes and the theoretical framework used is countertransference and vicarious trauma theory. The result shows that all the informants have been influenced by the traumatic narratives they have heard and their interaction with the client was affected by their personal experiences. The result also shows that a trustful relationship between the client and the social worker is fundamental for good communication, but also that more education and knowledge combined with support from the workplace and opportunities to exchange knowledge contribute to developing good and respectful interactions with clients.

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