Cover Image


View/Hide Left Panel

the opportunity to relate to peers who are also facing the same difficulties.

Under these circumstances, those assisting children and their families most are not outside specialists, but rather supports within the community, such as teachers, youth workers, and community leaders. Advocates of this approach include Tolfree (1996) and Segerstrom (1995). One of the major problems with this approach is that it is difficult to identify and evaluate because it permeates the social setting. It can also be problematic if the social fabric of the community has been severely damaged. It will then take much longer to reestablish structures and possibly even the sense of community.

The levels of support that a community may require can be identified on four levels. Level 1 consists of the material needs of the entire community. Levels 2, 3, and 4 are related to the particular needs of groups within the community, including individuals and families. Level 4, the top of the pyramid, is a level of assistance that is required by a few families and individuals who need assistance beyond that provided by their community in order to be able to cope with the particular difficulties they are facing. It is not assumed that this assistance will be required for lengthy amounts of time.

Other significant authors on psychosocial work with children in conflict have promoted similar and sometimes more elaborated hierarchical models of intervention. Of particular interest is the work of Inger Agger, Elizabeth Jareg, and colleagues (Agger et al., 1999).

Psychosocial work with children is a relatively new area in situations of conflict. The models of assistance are still being elaborated, and the nature of appropriate interventions debated.

Guidance on what models of assistance may be appropriate is available from the World Health Organization (2003, 1996), UNICEF, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (1994), and nongovernmental organizations that specialize in this area. This monograph includes an annotated bibliography of much of this material. A lot of the literature focuses on emergency work with children and has been selected for annotation because its content reflects the core psychosocial concepts that are outlined above, informing present-day psychosocial assistance with children in humanitarian work.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement