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Open Collection of Student Writing (OCSW)

Baby Kim

Baby Kim’s problems appear to be from a combination of prenatal drug exposure, premature birth and environment deprivation. Preterm infants can be less engaged with their mothers and receive less enjoyment in mother-involved play activities. Preterm infants often spend an extended period of time in the neonatal intensive care unit, making contact with the mother difficult other infant-related factors that can affect attachment include drug exposure (Ashford & Lecroy, 2012, p.267). The intracranial bleed baby Kim suffered during her premature delivery may have resulted in minor brain damage. Premature babies can be difficult to feed (Ashford & Lecroy, 2012, p.275). If separation takes place when a child is between 6 and 28 months profound responses can occur, these responses include a drop in developmental quotient and eating disturbances (Ashford & Lecroy, 2012, p.273).

Contributions to Kim’s developmental delay observed at eleven months may be a result of failure to form an attachment due to being in inconsistent living situations. Infants who move from one foster home to another can have attachment problems, early deprivation of a consistent caregiver can affect cognitive, emotional, and social development (Ashford & Lecroy, 2012, p.273). I would rate the parents and baby Kim at a moderate “goodness of fit” as the older children are well cared for, happy and it is mentioned the older is excelling in school. The mothers unhappiness and discontent with being apart from baby Kim could be a contributor to baby Kim’s delay in development. The separation of the mother and baby can interfere with attachment and bonding, resulting in postpartum depression for the mother and possibly depression for baby Kim. In this case I do not  think the social worker has followed the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) position of intervening in the “child’s best interest”.  Children should be able to perceive themselves as valued family members, special attention should be given to children with special needs (NASW Statement On Foster Care and Adoptions). In baby Kim’s case of being in and out of foster homes in a short period of time in early infancy it may be difficult for her to perceive herself as a valued family member.

I think it should be taken into consideration in the assessment the two boys seem to be happy and well-adjusted in this home. A possible environmental stressor impacting the parents is finances because it is a single income family; however further assessment is necessary to determine if income truly is a cause for stress for this family. The social worker should continue advocating for keeping the family intact before returning baby Kim home to her family. I do not think foster placement has been effective for baby Kim’s development as her placement has lacked consistency being in and out of foster homes. The development of the child is seen as a product of a continuous dynamic interaction between the child and the experience provided by his or her family and social context (Ashford & Lecroy, 2012, p.278).

In my assessment findings, this family needs support and guidance. Interventions with infants require a systems approach, because problems with a baby do not reside in the baby but in the interactions between the baby and a caregiver or the baby and the family (Ashford & Lecroy, 2012, p.278). Viable interventions I would recommend for baby Kim and her family are both parents attend a group for recovering drug addicts as well as marriage counseling, and family counseling where the two boys also attend. A demanding infant can increase the family stress level, which can then interfere with the parents’ interactions, which in turn can affect the baby’s responses (Ashford & Lecroy, 2012, p.279). I would also recommend enrolling baby Kim into Head Start as it would help with baby Kim’s development and serve as an aid in baby Kim’s bonding with her parents. Head Starts goal is to enhance infant and toddler development by working closely with parents and families (Ashford & Lecroy, 2012, p.290).

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