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What is ShifaME?

By February 8, 2018March 3rd, 2021Blog

What is ShifaME?

Spurwink’s ShifaME is a program providing outpatient and community services to newly resettled immigrant and refugee youth and families. Services provided under the ShifaME program include counseling, case management, and school-based groups. The children and youth we serve can participate in one, two, or all three of these services! To make a referral, call (207)871-1200.


ShifaME Counseling is a service for children and families who have experienced trauma or severe stress associated with being a refugee, asylee, or immigrant. This includes stress related to trauma, acculturation, resettlement, or isolation. The model used for treatment is Trauma Systems Therapy adapted for Refugees (TST-R.)

Clinicians partner with cultural brokers, professionals from the culture of the family being served, to provide this service. Cultural brokers are critical to the work because they provide cultural context for clinicians, help explain mental health concepts to families, and provide language access.

Multicultural Case Management:

ShifaME’s Multicultural Case Managers partner with youth, families, natural supports, and service providers in the home, school, and community to reduce barriers to care for refugee, asylee, and immigrant families. Whenever possible, families are paired with a case manager who shares their same language and cultural background.

A Multicultural Case Manager will:

  • Provide cultural brokering and language access
  • Collaborate with providers and schools to help assess youth’s strengths and needs
  • Help families navigate systems of care
  • Engage families in accessing services

School-based groups:

ShifaME School-based groups are currently running in Lewiston, Biddeford, and Portland Public schools. They will start in Westbrook in spring 2019 (and have since the time this blog was written). These groups are co-facilitated by a clinician and cultural broker and meet once a week for twelve weeks. The groups focus on decreasing acculturative stress, increasing social support, and improving emotion regulation and mindfulness skills while maintaining a fun and collaborative atmosphere.