Acceptability and Initial Promise of Trainings for Community Stakeholders Serving Refugee and Immigrant Families

Rebecca E. Ford-Paz*, Catherine De Carlo Santiago, Yvita Bustos, Jefferson J. Uriarte, Laura M.L. Distel, Anna M. Ros, Claire A. Coyne, Claudio Santiago Rivera, Sisi Guo, Dana Rusch, Nicole St Jean, Aimee Hilado, Hadia Zarzour, Rocío Gomez, Colleen Cicchetti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Cumulative traumaticmigration experiences are compounded by escalating chronic distress related to the current sociopolitical climate for refugee and immigrant children and families. The aim of this open trial was to conduct a preliminary evaluation of You’re Not Alone, a rapidly mounted, strengths-based, community-focused capacity building training initiative for stakeholders interacting with refugee and immigrant children and families in the Chicago area. Trainings, based on Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) and psychological first aid frameworks, adapted education and universal health promotion strategies for population-specific chronic traumatic stress. Two groups of participants (N = 948), who attended either mandatory (n = 659 educators) or voluntary (n = 289 community stakeholders) trainings, completed surveys at pretraining, post-training, and 6-week follow-up. Outcome indices included participant satisfaction, acceptability of training model, and changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Over 90% of participants reported satisfaction and acceptability of trainings. For educators, hierarchical linear modeling analyses demonstrated significant increases in trauma knowledge, refugee and immigrant-specific knowledge, positive attitudes toward TIC over time, and a decrease in negative attitudes toward immigrants. Over 95% of participants indicated that they learned and intended to use new strategies to help serve refugee and immigrant children and families. At follow-up, over 80% of those who completed the survey had utilized at least one strategy, and over 55% indicated that they were using resources that they learned about in the training. This study demonstrates that capacity-building trainings swiftly developed and disseminated to community stakeholders can produce positive change in knowledge, attitudes, and practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-201
Number of pages14
JournalPsychological Services
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 31 2022


  • community capacity-building
  • immigrant
  • refugee
  • resilience
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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