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NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors

The Challenges of Working with Children Severely Traumatised by the Experience of Offshore Detention: Clinical Implications

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Prof David Isaacs
Clinical Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health, Westmead Children’s Hospital

Naila Hassan

Refugee children who are detained in Australian offshore detention on Nauru have usually survived a multitude of traumatic experiences. Some were conceived or born on Nauru; while others arrived in Australia with their parents and were sent offshore where they spent the most critical development stage of their lives exposed to perpetual trauma, insecurity and fear for their safety. In this Clinical Master Class, held on 19 March 2019, Professor David Isaacs, who works and conducts research at both the Westmead Children’s Hospital and the University of Sydney, elaborated on providing care for children after they are transferred from Nauru to Australia for treatment for infections and psychiatric problems. He also explored some of the challenges faced in caring for these refugee children and their families in hospital settings. Finally, STARTTS’ work with some of these children and their families in Australia, was illustrated with a case study by Naila Hassan, who was a STARTTS’s Early Childhood Counsellor prior to 2022.

View the two lectures by clicking on the course content below. When you are finished you can request the system send you a certificate of completion. The slide PDFs are available in the Materials tab. Note that Prof Isaacs did not use slides and provided an article instead.

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