Using Assessment of Attachment in Child Care Proceedings to Guide Intervention (Chapter 23 in Wiley Handbook of What Works in Child Maltreatment: An Evidence-Based Approach to Assessment and Intervention in Child Protection).
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Attachment often contributes to decision-making in child care proceedings. Assessment of attachment can reveal family members' protective strategies, the historical experiences that have shaped the strategies, and the underlying information processing that generates self-, partner- and child-protective behaviour. This chapter offers an approach to attachment that evolved from work with maltreating families and discusses differences between this approach and other approaches. The Dynamic-Maturational Model of Attachment and Adaptation (DMM) offers a model of attachment across the lifespan that addresses the developmental processes and clinical applications described by Bowlby and Ainsworth. The chapter then describes an empirically based protocol developed by the International Association for the Study of Attachment (IASA) for presenting attachment evidence to courts, and discusses using the evidence for treatment planning. The chapter closes with a case example in early childhood, proposing that the approach offered can protect children and reduce costs. (Author abstract)
attachment behavior; parent child relationships; foster children; assessment; family courts; child abuse; models; guidelines