To benefit the child, foster care needs to be brief. A plan to achieve permanency should begin immediately upon removal from the problem home.
Behavior Problems: Causes and Treatment
More than any of the other major players, the child welfare department can facilitate the ultimate goal: assuring safety and achieving permanence within one year.
The evaluator must have a clear definition of bonding as his template. Then the assessment should answer the simple question: Is this child bonded to these parents?
More than with any other mental disorder, the healing for Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) takes place in the home. The main job of the therapist is to structure significant connecting with others, especially family members.
A mental health professional (psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker) can play three important roles on the foster child's road to bonding and permanence.
Parents may find it hard to relate to a child day in and day out without any emotional response. The child’s failure to respond is hard to take. Despite these difficulties foster parents can help.
Running away from a foster care placement expresses homelessness as a deliberate choice. The foster youth apparently prefers the “freedom” of homelessness to imposed temporary care and systemic transience....Better than any other term or condition, “homeless” describes the state of a child in foster care. By definition the foster child is a transient, without a permanent home.
Detachment and the destruction of the capacity for intimacy are not the only results of long stays in foster care. Frustration can lead to aggression.
Disorders of childhood generated by delays and multiple moves are mild compared to what is yet to come. The breaking of bonded relationships causes even more serious problems in adulthood.
Intermittent placement and non-attachment can result in mental illness.