Once children have been removed from their home and placed in foster care, infants and toddlers are more likely than older children to be abused and neglected and to stay in foster care longer.
Did you know?
- 38% of children in out-of-home care were infants and preschoolers (FCRO 2015 Annual Report)
- 71.4% of child abuse fatalities were children under 3 (Nationally)
- One in five foster care placements is an infant (Nationally)
Babies can’t wait! Research has shown that a child’s early years are a critical time for development. Babies must have at least one parent or caregiver who provides consistent love and care. The hazards to young children include:
- Parental abuse/neglect most often related to substance abuse
- Exposure to domestic violence
- Exposure to other forms of violence (conditions of war and community violence)
- Prenatal exposure to substances
Maltreatment interferes with the healthy development of the synaptic connections in the brain that are critical to intellectual functioning and to social and emotional wellbeing. Although the early years are a period of incredible vulnerability for young children, it is also a time where intervention can be extremely effective.
Impact from Infancy is an innovative program that began in October of 2014 targeting families with children birth to five involved in the juvenile court and child welfare systems. Three dedicated case coordinators serve as early childhood resources who support case professionals and encourage the use of best practices at the beginning of the case such as attachment informed decisions and permanency considerations from day one.
Coordinators encourage case professionals to ensure that the physical, developmental, social-emotional and medical needs of all children in the program are met. Cases can be referred to our specialized treatment team comprised of professionals who specialize in the needs of maltreated children birth to five to include:
- Schools/Early Development Network
- County Attorney
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Nebraska Families Collaborative
- Adoption specialists
- Foster Care Review Office
- Home visitors
- Triage Center
- Domestic violence advocates
- Infant mental health therapists
For more information or to make a referral, contact Impact@projectharmony.com.
Time in foster care is not a neutral evet for children involved. A trauma-informed child protection system needs to be knowledgeable about the potential short-and-long-term impacts on disruptions in attachment relationships – especially for the youngest children. FCRO