Infants and young children are the fastest growing group entering the child welfare system; yet social service systems are typically not designed for this group and therefore cannot serve their special developmental needs. This book examines the impact of child abuse and neglect on preschool children and the handling of this population's needs by the child welfare system. An overview of child development theory and child abuse reporting patterns is presented, and the differences in the foster care experiences of very young children and older children is analysed. This book examines the overlap between child welfare practice, child development outcomes and public policy, and suggests new approaches to serving this vulnerable group of children.

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