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The role of infant observation in developing the capacity of workers with refugee and asylum-seeking families in France

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Published in Infant Observation. 2014, vol. 17, no. 1, p. 62-80
Abstract The paper describes an outreach project, set up as a collaborative endeavour between a centre for asylum seekers in a town to the east of Paris and a child guidance clinic; the project’s aim was to understand and address the emotional needs of asylum-seeker children, in which close observation played a central role. It presents the rationale for developing a project that supported the workers’ confidence in their capacity to think about and respond to the needs of the children in their care, and goes on to present a detailed analysis of the particular emotional needs of the children and their families. The paper also describes the weekly playgroups that the workers set up for traumatised children and adolescents in which the presence of an observer helped them to remain emotionally receptive in their work with highly traumatised families. Observational vignettes illustrate some of the insight gained about the children’s behaviour and difficulties. Monthly work discussions of observations supported the workers’ capacities to work with the children, and helped them to shape a new way of working using observation and a psychoanalytic frame; two workers evaluated the work and the ways in which both team and children were helped.
Keywords ObservationMental healthAsylum seekersWork discussionRefugee family centresChildhood traumaAdult trauma
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Research group Dimensions relationnelles et affectives de l'éducation et de la formation
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FRANCHI, Vije Elodia. The role of infant observation in developing the capacity of workers with refugee and asylum-seeking families in France. In: Infant Observation, 2014, vol. 17, n° 1, p. 62-80. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:38711

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Deposited on : 2014-07-15

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