Changing the Course for Infants and Toddlers
A Survey of State Child Welfare Policies and Initiatives
This report by ZERO TO THREE and Child Trends presents findings from a 2013 survey of state child welfare agencies about the policies and practices that guide their work in addressing the needs of infants and toddlers who have been maltreated. It sets the stage for understanding how states are currently supporting young children and where opportunities exist to expand supports.
Three broad themes emerged from the survey:
Few states have policies that differentiate services or timelines for infants and toddlers from those for older children.
Relatively few states have implemented promising approaches to meeting the unique developmental needs of infants and toddlers.
Given growing awareness about the needs of very young children stemming from neuroscience and child development research, child welfare agencies have a long way to go in aligning policies and practices to ensure that the unique needs of infants and toddlers are met.
Why is frequent oversight and speedy permanency so important for maltreated infants and toddlers?