A Critically Informed Perspective of Working with Resettling Refugee Groups in Australia
Although there have been many critiques of the central role that trauma plays in social work practice with refugees, nevertheless trauma discourse maintains a powerful shaping force on service delivery in Australia, intersecting with, and gaining power from, managerial discourses that specify individually focused approaches to practice. The outcome is a double bind for refugee populations, who quickly learn that, in this country, identifying themselves as vulnerable is a pathway to resources, yet who then find themselves caught in processes that have precarious effects for agency.Trauma work, the paper argues, however necessary at some points, is over-emphasised and over-legitimised, and a range of critiques are drawn on to substantiate this. Revisiting some of the traditional disciplinary bases of social work and human services may facilitate organisations and practitioners to engage more proactively and reflexively with people who arrive as refugees across a broader range of tasks associated with re-establishing themselves in a new country.
The British Journal of Social Work
Social Work not elsewhere classified