Concerns about childrens development

Infants and young children placed in foster and kinship care often have difficulties early in life.3 They may have problems such as:

• Medical problems, including: asthma, exposure to drugs in the womb, growth problems, hearing loss, and birth defects.

• Later development of thinking, language, and motor skills, or learning skills more slowly than other children of the same age.

• More mental health concerns.

Percent of young children with cognitive delays in foster and kinship care 4

Children placed with relatives are just as likely to show delayed development as children placed in general foster care. Children with delayed development need extra help to build their skills to the expected level for their age. If children go without help, delays may get worse as they get older.

Caring for an infant or young child with developmental delays can be difficult. Research has found that the following concerns are connected with caring for a child with a delay:4

• Caregivers may become physically, emotionally, and financially exhausted.

Children with delays are in foster or kinship care longer.

Too much may be expected of these children.

Children's communication may be hard to understand.

Developmental delays can have an effect on family relationships.

Developmental delays can make other problems worse, such as the child's health, reactions to changes, problems in school, and behavior problems.

Children's disabilities and health problems can lower their chances of being returned to their parents.

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