Approximately one-third of the children in the child welfare system are under the age of six. These children are almost invisible in our juvenile courts. It is now clear from the emerging science of early childhood development that during the first few years of life, children develop the foundation and capabilities on which all subsequent development builds. Living in emotional and environmental impoverishment and deprivation provides a poor foundation for healthy development. These very young and vulnerable children are exhibiting disproportionate developmental and cognitive delays, medical problems, and emotional disorders. However, there is growing evidence that early planned interventions can help. The juvenile court must take a leadership role in focusing on the very young child and learning more about risk, prevention, and early intervention in order to facilitate the healing process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health