i am re-posting the original question to the expert. thanks for all your info!
Edited by fosterparent - 11/15/11 at 2:01pm
I have a seven year old with an attachment disorder. Every professional that worked with my child recommended full time day care for her. She was not transitioning well to our home. My gut told me to ignore the advice and keep her with me as much as I could. I COMPLETELY regret my decision. She would be in a better place today if I had listened to the advice.
I am not saying that this child is in the same position, but it sounds like you formed your opinion from your gut like I did.
Honestly my gut tells me that you should mind your own business when it comes to this issue. Even if it would be better for the foster children to not be in daycare (and this is a big if) not all people can afford to not work or to hire a nanny. I appreciate that you are coming at this from a place of wanting what is best for the children but you should leave these decisions up to the foster parents.
you gave me yours and i thank you. however you did not answer my questions. i am still interested in knowing from a clinical viewpoint why you were directed to place your child in full-time daycare and why you wish that you had done so instead of keeping her home with you. what would the benefit have been? maybe i am in fact missing something.
Not sure what this means. Two different people have commented. You were responding to NYMommy and asking why I didn't asnwer your question?
i think its more than my gut speaking. i have worked clinically with many young children with attachment disorders (and older children who graduated to serious mental health disorders). what was the clinical standpoint of the people directing you to full-time daycare? was it a therapeutic day care?
Then I guess I would say that there are a variety of opinions out there among professionals and you are jumping to one before meeting the child.
My daughter was 23 months when she came home. Her behavior was horrific. The professionals we worked with came to believe that she was completely overwhelmed by having a one on one relationship with her mother/caregiver. She had lived in a theraputic foster home with a rotating door of caregivers. They believed that having rotating caregivers would let her ease into our family and give me a break from the aweful behavior I was trying to manage that was burning me out. It was not theraputic day care.
Questions that might be relevant are: how old are the kids? A newborn in full time daycare is different than a two yr old going to a more "preschool" type setting. Are the kids in daycare now? Is it what they are used to? Is the plan for short term fostering and then reunification, and if so would they be going back to a daycare situation at that point? Many many kids go to daycare, even from six weeks old...and while i've never had to put small children in daycare, IMO its not going to create an attachment disorder where none exists and im not sure its going to worsen one if there is one present (indeed, if there are attachment issues mom might really NEED a break)...IMO its what the parent does when the parent IS WITH the child that is important, and of course the quality of the daycare setting itself. I wouldnt assume that a high quality out-of-home daycare with stable consistent staffing is somehow a worse option than an in-the-home nanny. Often, the foster agency will WANT the kids in some kind of out-of-home care if its available and appropriate.
If the mom isnt interested in staying home with the child(ren) im not sure what else you can do. You say this is your field of expertise so i imagine you have access to studies that show the benefit of being home to bond with a parent.
The parents should be aware that when the children are placed with them they should qualify for parental leave just as they would if they had given birth to a new baby (i think this is true, the last time i checked?) so perhaps encouraging a little bonding time at home for a few weeks might be a good idea?
I'm not a clinical social worker but I have fostered for a long time. I'm also a trained Early Childhood Specialist (and former teacher) and have worked with hundreds (probably thousands) of teachers and children in birth-three classrooms (including those for children who are at risk and/or have special needs.) My (adopted) son was in Early Head Start as a toddler as was my (adopted) daughter. They are now happy, healthy, and attached children. I think that out-of-home care can be very beneficial to a infant or toddler. It's by no means mandatory or even necessary but many, many, many children thrive in child care. Being in child care doesn't mean that the family isn't attachment parenting. That's condescending to the MANY MDC moms who work outside the home. The KEY is finding high quality child care, which is not impossible to do. The foster parents should look for low ratios and low teacher turnover. If there is an Early Head Start (the infant/toddler wing of Head Start) program in their area, they should apply. Early Head Start mandates a 1:4 (many are 1:3) adult/child ratio with a maximum of eight children in a group (but often six.) Their teachers are required (by federal guidelines) to be highly trained in the field of early childhood education. Foster kids score very highly on the scoring criteria because of all of their risk factors so they usually are put at the top of the waiting list. They are also required to have a mental health specialist and a disabilities specialist working to support children (and families) at risk. If there is not an EHS program in their area (or a waiting list,) they should look at lots of programs to find one that is "right" for their family. There are many out there who have wonderful, and caring, teachers. My professional opinion (and from my experience with DS's bio sister,) is that many foster children benefit from being around "typical children" and loose child care "structure" on a regular basis. In fact, in many cases, I'd prefer it to an at-home nanny. And in most cases, Social Services won't pay for a nanny or an unlicensed care provider but they will for a child care center or licensed family child care home. And the cost of care for THREE children will be really high. No matter where the care is provided. Honestly, there aren't that many foster mothers who are able to stay at home. I know that most in my area work. I've been very lucky to be able to be at home quite a bit with my kids (now 7 and almost 5) but it was at a financial hit to my family (as a single mother) but my children's experiences in care have been invaluable to my family and their former teachers are almost part of our family.
I guess this would be considered more attachment therapy. I realize that the child coming into the home might not have a diagnosis but I think my perspective on this is why wait for one. We can probably assume that their needs were not met as well as a child raised in a typical home with a healthy well-adjusted mother and therefore I would think their needs would of course be greater. Why not, if you can do so (and I know not everyone can), take steps to help remedy any attachment issues that might have been created. Perhaps going the extra mile (even if it means sacrificing some things, perhaps financially) may be very worthwhile.
It is really important to be clear about the differences between attachment parenting and attachment therapy. My daughter is in attachement therapy, and sometimes it feels like the opposite of attachment parenting. For example, my daughter has always needed super clear rules and consequences. I cannot raise her in a way that feels natural to me.
"i came to this forum because it was labeled "ask the expert: Dr. Axeness" who is someone who specializes in the care of adopted children."
Just to be clear, this is not Dr. Axeness' forum, that is under the "Ask the Expert" area. There may be a link at the top of THIS forum for her forum, but i havent paid too much attention to it.
I don't know about the doctor, or her qualifications as they relate to foster and adoptive parenting, but she's got her own thread in the "Experts" forum. However, I consider myself to be an expert when it comes to early childhood care and education for at risk children and families. I've worked in the field, provide professional development for teachers, and have worked closely with infant toddler mental health specialists and clinical social workers who are infant/toddler specialists.
It's impossible for all foster children to have stay-at-home foster parents. Impossible. Some children really need that and will hopefully be placed with a stay-at-home foster parent. Others will need to be in child care. I know MANY infant/toddler teachers who wear babies in slings, feed on a baby/toddler's individual schedule, etc. Child care centers (at least in my state) support primary care attachments, have connections with mental health specialists, and training in infant/toddler development. Many nannies don't do any of that. I have seen MANY, MANY, MANY VERY at risk children thrive when they were placed in a high quality child care program. My own son was one of them. My son's bio sister would have driven one caregiver absolutely crazy if she were alone with her all day (when she first went into foster care.) Her two teachers, the director, and support staff were fried at the end of the day. As were her foster parents. But, before too long, she was able to relax and begin thriving in care. I know many cases just like that. HIGH QUALITY programs support the intimate relationship between infant/young toddler and one (sometimes two) caregivers.
My DD NEVER would have let me sling her. Never. In fact, I've never had a foster baby/toddler foster child (or respite child) who would wear a sling. Some do, some don't.
So you are only looking for support for your opinion then? Because you say you are interested in hearing from other mothers who have been in this situation, several have answered, and you don't seem to like what they had to say despite their experience and knowledge. You seem to have already made you mind up as to what is best for this child without knowing the child, what kind of assessment they've had done, and advice to the contrary from experienced mothers.
Here is the rub, I think my leaning toward attachment parenting harmed my daughter. She came us at 23 months with a full set of manipulation skills. Following her "cues" lead our family down a really bad road. I think it is way better to encourage the mom to be to be a responsive parent. Watch for what the child needs and respond. So if the child is miserable at day care, that is one thing. But the child may really thrive.
Also, I it is worth pointing out that fostering is very upredictable. Even foster to adopt can end with a child being reunified or with a relative. I don't know what kind of work the mom to be does, but putting a job in jeapardy for a placement that may not last could be one of her concerns.
Maybe if she saw some evidence on how AP can really help a child who it at-risk she might make a different choice. like i stated before i have heard of other foster/adoptive parents who have done this. my lactation consultant adopted her daughter as a infant and breastfed her :) of course i realize this is probably not going to happen in this case in particular but there must be other mothers out there who have been in similar situations. i would really like to hear from them. thanks.
I am sorry the adoptive and foster mothers are being so harsh with you. I have read this thread multiple times and am confused to their anger.
This is an AP and NFL board. I don't get why they do not think AP is appropriate for foster children- as I agree with you that one would think it would be important. I have no reccomendations for you but I do hope someone on here can be nice and give you some information since that's what we are here for.
Marcy is great and please do post to her.
i think i ruffled a few feathers by stating that i asked her to reconsider the "daycare plans". this seems to be hot topic. again though i am not against daycare just wonder if its the most optimal placement for very young at-risk child. i see now how it could be helpful in certain cases but i am still looking for more info from mothers who have been able to keep their foster children at home and who have helped them develop solid attachments and good relating skills using AP. thanks for your support. i am glad someone is sifting through all of this :)