Chapter 3: Core Competencies in Working with Survivors

When providers are familiar with and respect the culture, language, and trauma experience of their clients, they create bridges of understanding. In order to provide appropriate and effective services, professionals need to develop a degree of expertise in the following four core fields of competency: KNOWLEDGE of the life experiences and resettlement issues of refugees, asylum seekers and asylees before, during, and after the violence; COMPREHENSION of torture and its long-term effects on survivors, their families, their community, and professionals who work with them; CULTURAL COMPETENCE with traumatized people; WORKING EFFECTIVELY with interpreters. This chapter provides information on the four competency areas that apply to providers in all disciplines and service domains.