As the number of refugees worldwide reaches unprecedented levels, social workers’ ability to provide effective and appropriate mental healthcare to this population is as critical as ever. This article provides a review of contemporary debates revolving around the cultural adaptation (CA) of mental health interventions: when it is warranted, what approach should be taken and what components of an intervention should be adapted. CA is presented as a promising and pragmatic approach to service delivery, one that can assist clinical social workers in designing and implementing interventions that reflect refugees’ local needs and knowledge without neglecting important advances in research evidence and clinical expertise. However, it is not without its challenges. By drawing on literature related to the integration of cultural and contextual factors in mental health interventions and services, the article addresses critical issues in the CA approach and asks: is it possible to strike a balance between fidelity to evidence-based interventions and culturally compatible care?
An important policy initiative implemented for the past 40 years in Canada, refugee private sponsorship has attracted international attention as Europe continues to grapple with