Mental Health

Prior to being placed into your home, the child may have experienced: a lack of mutual attachment and nurturing with parents or other caregivers, ineffective parenting, a chaotic home environment, childhood trauma, and/or a prior caregiver who abused substances, suffered from mental illness, or engaged in criminal behavior.

Children who are cared for by relatives are often the victims of physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse. Some of these children have been neglected in the homes of their parents and therefore are labeled as “troubled or at risk children.” At-risk children are emotionally fragile and developmentally compromised because they have experienced trauma and disruption in the attachment process. They are at-risk for developing emotional and behavioral disorders, learning difficulties, and developmental delays. Quite often these children exhibit some of the following behaviors: an inability to self-regulate, difficulty linking cause and effect, an inability to understand their own emotional world, difficulty in trusting that adults will help them, and a high need to control. They want to be in charge, have a generalized sense of anxiety, or are hyper-vigilant (paying attention to everything).

If the child has been the victim of abuse and neglect, they may have a mental illness that requires professional help. Disorders that are seen in abused and neglected children are: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Bonding Issues, Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Trauma Response, Exposure to Domestic Violence, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and exposure to inappropriate sexual behavior of adults.

For more information, please contact your local mental health professional or