One of the most effective ways to compound the negative effects of trauma and adversity on the littlest, and most vulnerable served in child welfare are multiple placements. When any child in foster care is moved from placement to placement, it is traumatic. When infants and toddlers are moved from placement to placement, it can have a much greater impact on development because placement changes unstable primary attachments. For our littlest people, the relationship with a primary caregiver is a foundational aspect of development.
The L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services has a solution bridging child care and child welfare with a partnership that provides stability and consistency in care and has the potential to dramatically reduce the compounding trauma caused by foster care placement changes.
Facing a continuing shortage of foster homes for children under five, Los Angeles County is hoping to make it easier for foster parents to take in very young children.
A new program, if approved Tuesday by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, would provide immediate childcare slots to foster parents and relatives of foster kids who suddenly find themselves caring for a baby or toddler.
"We really want to remove as many obstacles as possible," said Deborah Silver, division chief at the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services.
Follow here to read or listen to Rina Palta's piece for KPCC Southern California Public Radio.