A Call to Action on Behalf of Maltreated Infants and Toddlers

Release Date: May 31, 2011
File Size: 445 KB
File Format: pdf
Download Document

Infants and toddlers are the age group most vulnerable to child abuse and neglect and the largest group of children entering foster care. Just as their brains are undergoing dramatic development, these young children experience maltreatment that can lead to permanent damage to the brain's architecture and lifelong problems. The child welfare system's response to infants and toddlers, when not attuned to developmental needs, can compound this damage. CDF, in collaboration with Zero to Three, the American Humane Association, Center for the Study of Social Policy and Child Welfare League of America, recently released A Call to Action on Behalf of Maltreated Infants and Toddlers, with recommendations for policies, programs and practices to better address the developmental needs of infants and toddlers who come to the attention of the child welfare system. It provides a starting point for federal, state, and local policymakers and administrators to assess and identify where and how they can revise or institute policies and practices that protect the development of infants and toddlers and their safety. This time in life provides a unique opportunity to intervene early to prevent or minimize negative effects that will prove more intractable later.