Current Environment:

Jordan | Overview

Trauma-Informed, Integrated Care for Syrian Refugee Children & Families


Approximately 1 in 10 Jordanian residents is a Syrian refugee; 40 percent of all Syrian refugees are under the age of 12. These youth have experienced horrific atrocities of war and are at high risk for a range of mental health issues. Many have also sustained physical wounds, including limb loss.

Where We Started

Over the past 4 years, Emma Cardeli, PhD, has worked with the Polus Center and its Jordanian partner, Asia Development Training (ADT), to grow capacity for the provision of mental health services in the region. Dr. Cardeli has provided training in techniques for identifying and responding to traumatic stress, strategies for evaluating children’s mental health needs and progress in services, and organizational consultation in trauma-informed, evidence-based practices at the system level.

Our Impact

Together with its partners, Boston Children’s has developed a training curriculum for paraprofessionals in principles of trauma-informed care; this curriculum has been implemented multiple times with great success. In 2017, additional funding was awarded to open the Sir Bobby Charlton Center, an outpatient rehabilitation clinic inclusive of a physical therapy area, individual and group counseling rooms, and training classrooms. Since opening, the center has helped hundreds of children and family members begin the process of rebuilding their lives post displacement.

Moving Forward

Boston Children’s continues to work with the team to develop and document a trauma-informed, integrated care model with the goal of disseminating this framework for rehabilitative services to other programs in the Levant serving refugee children and families.