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  September 23rd

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Developmental Needs of Abused Children

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By Frank Lopez, LMSW, LCPAA, CART
Upbring Statewide Clinical Director

As statewide clinical director for our Foster In Texas program, I was particularly interested in Upbring’s latest white paper, “Promising Practices to Address the Developmental Needs of Young Maltreated Children in Contact with the U.S. Child Welfare System,” by Mindi Moses, M.S.W., Michelle Johnson-Motoyama, Ph.D., & Patrick Shannon, Ph.D.

Previous research has shown that children between the ages of 0 and 3 years involved in the child welfare system are at increased risk for developmental delays, including delays in neurological, cognitive, early language, and behavioral development. For this paper, the authors conducted a national survey of administrators to determine how states are working to meet the federal mandate to refer young children in substantiated child abuse cases to early intervention services. They discuss promising practices from each state, such as cross-system collaborations, special staffing, training initiatives, and data system and tracking solutions. They highlight the importance of information sharing, collaborative structures, and a focus on young children.

In Texas, child placing agencies have 72 hours to refer young children to Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) to determine if services are needed. At Upbring, we work with early childhood intervention providers across the state to ensure we are meeting the developmental needs of young children in our care. We may refer to the Region’s ECI or to programs like Easter Seals.  For example, in the Rio Grande Valley we work closely with both Region 1 ECI and Easter Seals RGV to help young children achieve their goals in cognitive, social/emotional, communicative, adaptive and physical development. Services may include occupational therapy to help an infant learn to hold her bottle, physical therapy to help her learn to roll over, or speech therapy to help her learn to eat. Most early intervention services take place in the home or, in the case of working parents, at child care facilities in the local community.

This white paper series is part of Upbring’s renewed focus on breaking the cycle of child abuse through excellence in services, advocacy, and thought leadership. Together with its strategic partners, Upbring is developing a continuum of services that will build protective factors in health, education, safety, life skills and vocation for Texas children.

To read the complete paper, click here.

Here’s a special opportunity to meet the authors of today’s white paper– register now for Upbring’s Thought Leadership Conference on April 4, 2016.

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