Center for English and Integration Services

Trauma-Informed Training for Volunteers Serving Recent Immigrant Arrivals

The Center for English and Integration Services (CEIS) was established in 2017 as a non-profit 501(c)3 to teach English to internationals in Knox County, Tennessee. CEIS offers high-quality education specifically designed to help families successfully integrate into their new communities. Targeted participants are primarily from two war-torn countries, Ukraine and Afghanistan. Volunteer instructors have observed an increased incidence of adults struggling with their trauma and that of their children in the midst of trying to learn. CEIS is making every effort to provide for their educational and childcare needs; however, we need the training to address suspected trauma-induced behavior, especially in children. In Phase I, CEIS will design trauma-informed training focused on the mental health needs of children and their parents. This program will familiarize staff and volunteers with PTSD diagnostic criteria for children and measure progress through multiple tools, including Cultural Formulation Interviews (CFI). In addition to long-standing partnerships with Bridge Refugee Services (BRS) and Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT), CEIS will also use services of professionals in social work, psychology, early childhood education, and psychiatric nursing to create a training and data collection program to address the trauma experienced by the children of immigrants and their families.