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Mon 25 Sep

BOOKING CLOSED Supporting Asylum Seeking and Refugee Young People

10.00am - 4.00pm on 25th & 26th September


€20 IASW members/€20 non-members

Exploring the psychological and emotional needs which may be experienced by asylum seeking and refugee young people; as well as ideas to support.

This is an interdisciplinary event between the Irish Association of Social Workers (IASW), Social Care Ireland (SCI), the Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists (IASLT), and the Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland (AOTI).

The course has been funded by the HSCP Office, HSE. As such, places are available to social workers in the publicly funded healthcare service only. Tusla staff are not eligible to apply. Social Work has been allocated 40 places on this course.

This event is held on 25th & 26th September 2023.

This two day workshop gives both an excellent overview into the multi-faceted needs and unique challenges of unaccompanied asylum-seeking, trafficked, and refugee young people from an emotional, social, and psychological perspective. The presenter has extensive experience of working with unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people in the UK (within the NHS, Local Authority and Charity sector), in refugee camps in Europe and in Africa; and cross-culturally including in Africa and Asia. This workshop seems integral given the current international context, global interconnectedness, and global changes, and provides practitioners with a deeper understanding and knowledge of both the theory and practical side of supporting unaccompanied asylum-seeking, refugee, and trafficked young people.


The workshop includes examples, experiential exercises, poetry, images and drawings, and powerful video clips. Wider issues are also discussed and explored such as effective ways of working with interpreters, supporting people to feel more oriented and welcomed, the power of the media, and much more. There will also be discussion around key areas such as stigma and discrimination.

  • Develop further knowledge and understanding about the pre-migration, journey, and post arrival experiences of unaccompanied asylum-seeking, refugee, and trafficked young people.
  • Gain further insight into the unique challenges and considerations which face unaccompanied asylum-seeking, refugee, and trafficked young people.
  • Consider the psychological, social, and learning implications of being an unaccompanied asylum-seeking, refugee, and trafficked young person.
  • Gain further knowledge around wider related issues such as working effectively with interpreters, and the power of language.
  • To learn a few practical tips and take-home strategies for working more effectively with unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people.
  • There will also be time for reflection, questions, embedding one’s learning and sharing and learning from the group. There will be virtual break rooms and several opportunities to stretch our legs and have a break from the screen.


Dr Karen Treisman, MBE, is a Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist who has worked in the National Health System and children’s services for several years. Karen has also worked cross-culturally in both Africa and Asia with groups ranging from former child soldiers to survivors of the Rwandan Genocide. She also is the author of 11 books/ workbooks, including the bestselling book, “The therapeutic treasure box”, and of 4 sets of therapeutic card decks.
Karen has extensive experience in the areas of trauma, parenting, adversity (ACE’s) and attachment, and works clinically using a range of therapeutic approaches with families, systems, and children in or on the edge of care, unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people, and adopted children. Karen also specialises in supporting organisations and systems to move towards becoming, and to sustain adversity, culturally and, trauma-informed, infused, and responsive practice. This work focuses on creating meaningful and multi-layered cultural and paradigm shift across whole systems.