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Suzanne Doll

Developmentally, a 2, 7 and 15 year old present very differently. The 2 year old is still forming attachments and going through developmental stages. A 2 year old is just beginning to formulate language and would not understand why he/she is being taken to a new home, and needs someone to speak for him/her. A worker will have to be aware of the child’s development (walking, talking, etc) to ensure he/she continues to progress and also make sure all interactions are comforting and reassuring to that child. A 7 year old will understand what is going on and is very impressionable. He/She may have have a strong opinion about what is happening to him/her and may have been moved several times, only adding to their fear and anger over moving yet again. The worker needs to help the 7 year old understand what is happening as openly and honestly as possible taking into consideration school, friends and activities. The 15 year old will have a full comprehension of what is happening and may have a clear understanding of why. He/she may have been moved several times in the past and may have a trauma history. A 15 year old may become angry and may see themselves as “grown”and may also want to explore being reunified with his/her bio parent. The worker must listen and help the 15 year old actively plan for his/her future.