Note: The KIDNET program was not responsive to the CEBC's inquiry. The following information was obtained from publicly available sources.

About This Program

Target Population: Refugee children suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Program Overview

KIDNET is a specific type of Narrative Exposure Therapy program aimed at treating refugee children suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The treatment consists of eight individual therapy sessions, 90 to 120 minutes in length, conducted weekly by trained clinical psychologists. Focused on refugee children suffering from PTSD primarily related to war and other types of organized violence, the program is designed around the therapist helping the child build a chronological narrative of their entire life, with an emphasis on traumatic experiences. Children are asked to describe sensory information, emotions, physical reactions, and thoughts, which are thoroughly recorded by the therapist; this written documentation is given to the child at the end of therapy. Certain illustrative and creative tasks are also completed during the treatment program to aid the child in organizing their memories. Prior to constructing the narrative, children participate in the lifeline exercise, during which they take different flowers and stones, representing positive and negative events, and place them along a rope to illustrate each of the most significant events in their lives. Another exercise is re-enacting body positioning, during which children show therapists the ways they physically positioned their body during a traumatic experience (e.g., hiding in a crouched position during a bombing). Drawings are also used to portray scenes and objects from traumatic experiences. Each of these latter two exercises is utilized with the purpose of helping to bring about descriptions and language tied to these events.

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for KIDNET.

Manuals and Training

Publicly available information indicates there is a manual that describes how to deliver this program, and there is some training available for this program.
See contact info below.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Onyut, L. P., Neuner, F., Schauer, E., Ertl, V., Odenwald, M., Schauer, M., & Elbert, T. (2005). Narrative Exposure Therapy as a treatment for child war survivors with posttraumatic stress disorder: Two case reports and a pilot study in an African refugee settlement. BMC Psychiatry, 5(1), 7. doi:10.1186/1471-244X-5-7

Type of Study: One-group pretest-posttest study
Number of Participants: 6


  • Age — 13-17 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 100% Somali
  • Gender — 3 Female and 3 Male
  • Status — Participants were living in a refugee settlement.

Location/Institution: The Nakivale settlement in northern Uganda

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The aim of the present study was to present and illustrate the procedure of KIDNET as a child-friendly treatment approach for traumatized children in postconflict populations and to examination of the feasibility and potential efficacy of the method in a field context. Measures utilized were the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale (PDS), the Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25 (HSCL) and the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) version 2.1. Results showed an important reduction in posttraumatic symptoms, as early as the posttest. At follow-up, 2 of the 6 patients still fulfilled posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) criteria, but now at borderline levels and with less functional impairment. Clinically significant depression has remitted to nonclinical levels in all four adolescents who had presented with depression in the pretest. Limitations include lack of comparison group, nonrandomization of subjects, small sample size, and attrition rate.

Length of controlled postintervention follow-up: 9 months.

Ruf, M., Schauer, M., Neuner, F., Catani, C., Schauer, E., & Elbert, T. (2010). Narrative Exposure Therapy for 7- to 16-year-olds: A randomized controlled trial with traumatized refugee children. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 23(4), 437-445.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 26


  • Age — Children: 7-16; Adults: Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Children: 8 Kurdish, 6 Balkans, 5 Syrians, 3 Chechynyians, 2 Russians, 1 Georgian, and 1 German; Adults: Not specified
  • Gender — Children: 14 Males and 12 Females, Adults: Not specified
  • Status — Participants were recruited subjects that were going through the asylum process.

Location/Institution: The Research-Outpatient Clinic for Refugees at the University of Konstanz, Germany

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
This study evaluated the efficacy of KIDNET, the child-adapted version of narrative exposure therapy, in the treatment of refugee children suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and living in German exile. Participants were randomly assigned to either the KIDNET (N=13) or to the waitlist condition (N=13). Measures utilized were the UCLA PTSD Index for DSM-IV which was translated into the German version of the UCLA PTSD Index for DSM-IV and Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview for Children and Adolescents. Results indicate that at both the 4-week posttest and the 6-month follow-up, significant reductions in PTSD symptoms were found for the KIDNET therapy group. Significant reductions were found for each of the individual symptom levels including intrusion, avoidance (all types), active avoidance, passive avoidance, hyperarousal, and functional impairment. At the 12-month follow-up, it was found that these improvements were sustained. Significant improvements in nonverbal cognitive functioning were also found between the 6- and 12-month follow-ups. Limitations include lack of active control group and small sample size.

Length of controlled postintervention follow-up: 6 and 12 months (intervention only).

Additional References

No reference materials are currently available for KIDNET.

Contact Information

Frank Neuner
Phone: (495) 211-0644 x93
Fax: (495) 211-0689 x012

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: April 2021

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: August 2016

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: August 2016