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Experiences of lay social workers trained in a trauma-informed intervention in the deinstitutionalization of Rwanda

Jana Hunsley (Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, USA)
Erin Razuri (Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, USA)
Darlene Ninziza Kamanzi (Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, USA)
Halle Sullivan (Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, USA)
Casey Call (Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, USA)
Elizabeth Styffe (Foothill Ranch, California, USA)
Celestin Hategekimana (Centre for Gender Studies, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda)

Journal of Children's Services

ISSN: 1746-6660

Article publication date: 13 July 2021

Issue publication date: 26 November 2021

72

Abstract

Purpose

Rwanda established a deinstitutionalization program to end institutional care and transition to family-based care for children. Part of their program involved training local volunteers in an evidence-based, trauma-informed caregiving model, Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI), to provide education, support and TBRI training to caregivers who reunited or adopted children from institutional care in Rwanda. This study aims to describe the process of disseminating a trauma-informed intervention, TBRI, as part of the national deinstitutionalization program in Rwanda.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten lay social workers about Rwanda’s care reform and their experience using TBRI. A phenomenological approach was used to qualitatively analyze the interviews.

Findings

Analysis revealed five themes centered on the usefulness and universality of TBRI, the power of community in meeting the needs of children and youth and the importance of connection in supporting children who have experienced institutional care.

Originality/value

A global call to end institutional care and shift to family-based care for children has organizations, governments and experts seeking pathways to implement care reform. Although care reform is a complex process, Rwanda created and implemented a deinstitutionalization program focused on spreading the message of care reform and providing sustainable support for caregivers and families.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Data availability atatement: Research data are not shared.Conflict of interest: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.Ethics approval: All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee (Texas Christian University Institutional Review Board + Approval M-1904-116-1905) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.Patient consent: Documentation of consent was waived per CFR 46.117(c)(1).Permission to reproduce material: The authors have permission to use all materials.

Citation

Hunsley, J., Razuri, E., Ninziza Kamanzi, D., Sullivan, H., Call, C., Styffe, E. and Hategekimana, C. (2021), "Experiences of lay social workers trained in a trauma-informed intervention in the deinstitutionalization of Rwanda", Journal of Children's Services, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 289-303. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCS-09-2020-0056

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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