A Call to Action On Behalf of Maltreated Infants and Toddlers

Cohen, J.,
Cole, P.,
Szrom, J.
Year Published: 2011
Paper/Research Report
American Humane Association

Infants and toddlers are the age group most vulnerable to abuse and neglect. Every year, almost 200,000 children from birth to 3 years old come into contact with the child welfare system; more than a third of these infants and toddlers are placed in foster care, making this the largest age group entering care. However, not just the numbers should cause concern, these authors say, but also the fact that these very young children are at a critical point developmentally. The maltreatment that most often brings them to the system chemically changes their brain development and can lead to permanent damage of the brain’s architecture. In this document, the authors present important steps that can be taken in policies, programs, and practices to better address the developmental needs of infants and toddlers who come to the attention of the child welfare system. They present the compelling evidence for addressing the needs of these children, and suggest key elements of a developmental approach for infants and toddlers in child welfare. They include examples of approaches that have incorporated the recommended elements.

ZERO TO THREE, National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families, 1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 350, Washington, D.C. 20037; Telephone: (202) 638-1144, or (800) 899-4301, Fax: (202) 638-0851, E-mail: 0to3@presswarehouse.com, Website: http://www.childrensdefense.org/child-research-data-publications/data/a-call-to-action-on-behalf-of.html
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