Drawing on four research projects, this symposium examines the role of families, social groups and communities as sites of potential resources important for adaptation and survival under dire circumstances. To investigate these questions, the presenters draw from a variety of methods (grounded theory, thematic analysis, scoping review, multi-level analysis) and center the experiences of survivors of war and conflict in low- and middle-income countries, as well as the U.S. The first paper presents a conceptual model of the social-relational and place-based consequences of war and forced migration among Syrian refugees in Jordan, highlighting the implications of such a model for intervention development. The second paper shares findings from an early childhood development family strengthening intervention for war-affected families in Rwanda on child and caregiver outcomes as well as lessons learned when moving from an effectiveness trial to a government supported program. The third and fourth papers shift the focus to war-affected individuals and families who resettled to the U.S. as refugees, examining the role that diverse interventions can play in repairing and strengthening relationships. This includes findings from a scoping review of social support interventions for refugees in the U.S and a participatory evaluation study of a trauma-informed care workshop with mental health professionals and refugee leaders.
Drawing on her own research, the discussant will illuminate themes that arise from the presentations and identify challenges and opportunities for social work scholarship and practice moving forward. Although social work research in this area has been relatively nascent, the discipline is poised to play a larger role in scholarship concerned with the multi-level impacts of armed conflict and forced migration. By leveraging its differential focus on marginalized groups and person-in-environment ethos, social work must advance a research and practice agenda that broadens understanding of the multi-faceted consequences of war and forced migration while also identifying meaningful opportunities for support and intervention. â€ƒ