WHEN EAGLES DARE  Integrating group psychotherapy and sporting activities when working with unaccompanied minors granted temporary protection visas.

WHEN EAGLES DARE Integrating group psychotherapy and sporting activities when working with unaccompanied minors granted temporary protection visas.

2008-08-01 00:00:00

In January 2002 the Department of Community Services (DOCS) referred a few unaccompanied minors to the Early Intervention Program (EIP), Service for The Treatment And Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS). These boys had been granted Temporary Protection Visas (TPV) and were referred to the EIP for health assessments.

In January 2002 the Department of Community Services (DOCS) referred a few unaccompanied minors to the Early Intervention Program (EIP), Service for The Treatment And Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS). These boys had been granted Temporary Protection Visas (TPV) and were referred to the EIP for health assessments.

As a result of their TPV these young refugees are entitled to a substantially restricted range of benefits, including the preclusion of family reunion. The EIP was the only Commonwealth funded service within the Integrated Humanitarian Settlement Strategy (IHSS) that these minors had access to. Consequently, the boys (aged between 13 and 18 years) were invited to group sessions.
In one of the initial group sessions, a few boys expressed interest an forming a soccer team. In an attempt to promote positive mental health amongst this group through sport, EIP STARTTS assisted them set up their soccer team – “Eagles”.

This paper provides a backdrop to the “Eagles” experiences. It also provides insights into the effectiveness of group therapy in conjunction with a sporting activity like soccer in providing a buffer that helped the boys through a significant period in their lives.

Speakers: Pearl Fernandes
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