Summarizes basic information on traditional family structure and childrearing practices of Somali Bantu refugees, prior to flight and arrival in the United States. As a group, these refugees have endured centuries of discrimination, been relegated to low-status jobs in agriculture and the manual and mechanical trades, been denied education, and have had limited exposure to urban or Western cultures. The Somali Bantu family is patriarchal; children are highly valued and consequently families are often large; extended families play an important role in childrearing, and older children tend to care for younger siblings at an earlier age than is typical in the U.S.; indigenous healing methods may be used, but may leave marks that can be misinterpreted as abuse; physical punishment had been an accepted method of discipline; and the Somali Bantu typically do not practice Western-style dating. Service providers need to: understand that differences in childrearing practiced with the intention of nurturing the child should be treated as an issue of education rather than as neglect or abuse; recognize that support groups for mothers may help compensate for the absence of other family; encourage young people to take advantage of educational and occupational opportunities; not use children or other family members as interpreters; and be aware that subtle cultural differences in communication can make a critical difference in the effectiveness of professional assessments and interventions.