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Fighting the Battle Already Faced: A Look into Social Work Practices in the Rehabilitation of Child Soldiers

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As a communications major, when I think about what area of religion and spirituality in social work practice is the most relevant to my area of emphasis my mind immediately goes to the research and crisis intervention sector; specifically, the social injustice of child soldiers and the rehabilitation methods used in integrating them back into society stably. Within the social work field there are numerous methodologies and ideas concerning how to integrate religion and spirituality into the rehabilitation of children that have engaged personally in the battlefront of war. In this research paper I hope to provide an explanation as to what child soldiers are, what spiritual and religious guidance can do for them, and how social workers can implement certain methods into their practices with these children. My goal is to answer the question of how do social workers integrate spirituality and religion into their everyday practices with children of such horrific backgrounds.
Discussion
Before going further with the implications social workers can have on affecting a child soldier’s future life path I feel that it is pivotal to explain what exactly qualifies a person as a child soldier. The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers ( The Paris Principles, 2007) defines children soldiers as both male and female children who are engaging in regular and irregular armed forces or regimes. In accordance with this definition it can be found that the following are all examples of what a child soldier could entail:
According to CSI (The Paris Principles, 2007) tasks include participation in combat, laying mines and
explosives; scouting, spying, acting as decoys, couriers or guards; training, drill or other
preparations; logistics and suppo...


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...ning home from war: Family and caregiver impact on
psychosocial reintegration. (Order No. 3385008, Harvard University). ProQuest
Dissertations and Theses, 245.
Crawley, Mike. (2004, Nov 18). New push to stop child soldiers; A report released Wednesday
shows commitment by 85 countries to end the practice - but enforcement still lags. The
Christian Science Monitor, 6.
Hill, P. C., Seybold, K. S., (2001). The role of religion and spirituality in mental and physical
health. Current Directions in Psychological Science. 10(1), 21-24.
Post-dramatic stress disorder. (2014, April 15). In Mayo Clinic online. Retrieved from
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/basics/definition/con-20022540
The Paris Principles. (2007, February 1). In Unicef online. Retrieved from
http://www.unicef.org/emerg/files/ParisPrinciples310107English.pdf


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