A Therapeutic Recreation Program For International Refugees in a Midwest Community


  • Kari Kensinger
  • Jamie Gearig
  • Jenny Boor
  • Nicole Olson
  • Tracy Gras


Therapeutic Recreation, Community Integration, Refugee Resettlement Life Skills Training, Leisure Education


According to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in 2004, over six million individuals left their country of origin to escape, death, persecution, and other traumatizing experiences (ACF, 2004a). As these individuals leave their countries of origin to seek a life elsewhere, they are forced to learn a new language, new rituals, new customs, and a new way of life. Community integration programs can assist individuals in adjusting to their new environment. This paper will describe a therapeutic recreation program that was developed to help refugees adjust to life in a moderately sized Midwest community. A university-based therapeutic recreation program utilized the therapeutic recreation process to meet the needs of refugees from multiple countries (e.g., Cuba, Vietnam, and Liberia). The program utilized multiple assessment methods and procedures before planning, implementing and evaluating the therapeutic recreation program.





Practice Perspective