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Building on the Resilience of Adolescents with a Refugee Experience to Cope with the Emotional Transition to Adjust to a New Culture-findings and Implications.

Building on the Resilience of Adolescents with a Refugee Experience to Cope with the Emotional Transition to Adjust to a New Culture-findings and Implications.

Queensland Transcultural Mental Health Centre, Woolloongabba, Australia
This oral presentation aims to get participants to gain a good understanding about the group program titled Building Resilience in Transcultural Australians-BRiTA Futures for Adolescents, and about the evidence supporting its implementation. BRiTA Futures is a strength-based program with a 14-year track record to enhance resilience life skills of people with a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background aged 12 to 18 years. This program was developed as a response to research that explored the emotional and social needs of young people with a CALD background in Australia. In 2008, it was reviewed to incorporate material appropriate for participants with a recent refugee experience. This presentation will describe the model implemented to increase the capacity to deliver and evaluate the program and the many challenges faced when engaging adolescents with diverse cultural views, trauma
experiences and levels of literacy.
The methodology of program review, delivery, evaluation and qualitative/quantitative data analysis will be discussed in detail as well as facilitators, participants and settings. Finally, the ongoing support for program facilitators will be discussed.
The model of delivery of this program relies upon up-skilling and resourcing program facilitators for them to take control of running it with their clients/students in a range of settings. Challenges include maintaining the quality of the program while adjusting the delivery to the diverse realities of settings and group participants.
The findings of the evaluation of the implementation of this group program has implications for those working with adolescents with a CALD background, including those with a refugee or refugee-like experience. Discussing the evidence available to date about the effectiveness of the BRiTA Futures for Adolescents program could encourage those in the re-settlement, education and mental well-being sectors to use it as a soft engagement strategy with CALD adolescents. Randomised control trials are needed to further evidence.

Speakers: Elvia Ramirez