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  • #5234 Reply

    Describe how the needs of a child age 2, aged 7, and aged 15 will differ one a case.

    #5357 Reply
    Cathy Skinner

    With a 2 year old, the child will barely be able to speak for themselves. If they have attachments, it will be evident, but being able to read the child’s innate body language will be key. The advocates and case workers will clearly need to speak for them and be able to clearly assesss the situation. For a seven year old, they can clearly express their voice. Although developmentally they can be manipulated by their caregiver, it would be the responsibility of whoever works on that case to do the research to find the truth. The 15 year old, on the other hand, is (although still immature) nearing adulthood and will certainly have biases and opinions. It’s the caseworkers and CASAs responsibility to read the needs based on the age and maturity level of the child.

    #5359 Reply
    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.

    #5363 Reply
    Judith McGuinness

    Developmentally a 2-year old is just learning speech but they don’t understand adult logic, they can’t mentally manipulate information. They only know things from their own perspective, they are egocentric, and their logic is based only on their own limited knowledge. Therefore, they would need to have someone advocate for them. As a CASA, it would help to interview as many close adults as possible to better try to understand the child’s needs. You can also look for certain cues to see if they are being abused, as they would be in the most vulnerable age range. At 7 years of age a child starts to think logically about concrete events. They are aware of things that are happening around them and will be able to voice their opinion. You would be able to tell if they were afraid to say something that would make mom or dad angry.They still cannot think in abstract or hypothetical ways so it would need to be brought to their attention that there are alternatives to a situation to understand very clearly what they wish would happen going forward. At 15, an adolescent is old enough to understand hypothetical and alternative situations but may be hostile and rebellious. It is best to try to connect with them on a different level first, to share things in common so that you can build trust.

    #5365 Reply
    Alondra Palacios

    Attachment develops intensely throughout the first 3 years of life. When it comes to a 2 year old child, the importance and need for a strong bond is at its peak. It is not impossible to create attachment after the age of 3 but it does become more difficult. They are also just starting to grasp the concept of speech and how it helps communicate their needs. When a child is 7, they are more aware of what is going on but may not understand why. It would be beneficial that a child would be told what is happening in terms they can understand. They understand the difference between right and wrong. At 15, the adolescent shows more independence but it definitely does not mean they don’t need guidance. It’s important to continue to provide the necessary resources the adolescent needs in order to thrive as a adult. Although the developmental milestones are different at each age, it is vital that all developmental milestones are met.

    #5366 Reply
    Amy Aynedjian

    The needs of children vary greatly depending upon their age. At two years old a child wouldn’t be able to speak for themselves they would be very dependent on a resource parent for care and nurturing. Their basic needs would be food, proper hygiene in diaper changing or toilet training and major protection and security. The two year old would need to attach to the caregiver for security and to develop verbally. The CASA would have to be involved with asking the resource parent questions and keeping up with the pediatrician’s recommendations for medical and developmental needs. We would be responsible for ensuring the caregiver is providing emotional and psychological security as well as physical needs being met. We will rely heavily on the child’s reactions to being in the caregivers presence and maybe playing on the floor with the child learning his/her basic vocabulary and interacting at that level to establish a healthy relationship.
    A case with a 7 year old would differ in that the seven year old has developed a vocabulary and can usually articulate their basic needs for food, hygiene and likes/dislikes. The 7 year old May display generalized anxiety about the transition to a new normal and regress in toileting habits and also attempt to not interact with the resource parent . If they’re needs were not being met in their home they may not trust the resource parent and act out. They may withhold speech and not eat when meals are served. As their CASA volunteer we should respect their feelings and attempt to build a relationship upon something familiar like their favorite TV character, their favorite storybook, maybe ask about their bedtime routine and make them feel comfortable in their new environment. At 7 they can act overly mature or rather immature as a demanding “5 or 6” year old maybe bossy and loud. We would need to establish why they are acting out and attempt to find them an outlet for these behaviors I.e. a therapist to talk with/ play therapy is often used at this level to express what they are feeling.
    Finally a 15 year old in our care would be dependent upon their maturity level as acting grown up if they’ve been in and out of the system or acting immature for their age. We ours need to establish parameters for our relationship. What we don’t provide money, deliveries of gifts, rides to anywhere and visit them asking about social activities and recognize they are forming their identity and looking to adults to pattern their lives after. Basically we can help “make them or break them” we must be honest yet not over share information that will make them depressed or anxious leading to any exploration of outside resources I.e. drugs,
    Relationships or drinking . Build rapport and establish a working relationship though trust. “What you say I listen and respect!”

    #5372 Reply
    Anastasia Warden

    Despite the age of the child; patience, neutral observation and mindful listening must be the top priorities while doing any work with or for the child.

    Two year olds have pretty basic needs and may find it difficult to communicate if these needs are not met – particularly as there will be no attachment with the resource parents. Observation of the child’s mood & behavior – principally through play? – may be the best source of information with regard to the child’s wellbeing. This child will not be looking to their CASA for explanations but the CASA can still provide a source of stability in what must be a confusing time for the toddler. In addition, unless some sort of daycare situation is set up, there will be a more limited number of adults in contact with the child and the CASA may be relied on to gather more information or make more guesses as to the child’s condition than with an older chid.

    Seven year olds may have a strong attachment to their biological family (hopefully!) and may express their confusion and anger through negative behaviour. I think this age may be the most difficult. They have some understanding of why and how things are happening but cannot be given the same level of information (details, court procedures) as the 15 year old. However, because they are in school, it will be easier for the CASA to gather more data about how the child is doing. Fortunately, this child can still be distracted by play and silliness and that can help create a sense of safety for the child. I think it’s also important for the CASA to understand that with a child of this age you should be willing to discuss age-appropriate details regarding the child’s situation but for the most part the CASA would be “working behind the scenes” to clear obstacles so that the child can focus on being a child.

    15 year olds, I think, will differ in their needs based on how often they have been moved around and/or removed from their home. Attachment to the biological family could be quite strong and this child might be extremely angry about removal. Or, they might have been bounced around so often that they have simply no trust in the system or any adult (teachers, resource parents) acting in any way as an “authority” over them. Depending on the child’s situation, they may have already shouldered many responsibilities usually reserved for adults and may shrug off any attempt to recapture their childhood by requests made by school and therapists. On the other hand, once a connection is made with a child of this age, they will respect any adult that speaks with them honestly and that acknowledges that they are capable adolescents who do not need (hopefully) a babysitter.

    #5376 Reply
    Fran Waller Robertson

    2 year olds are just getting their verbal life together. They still do not understand feelings or how to express them. Mom/Dad are like a God to them. They put all-knowing, all-caring- all support is shown in the parent. They are like a sponge absorbing everything to be the way it is supposed to be. It is the same in other people’s homes.

    7 year olds are stepping out. Hopefully seeing other children in school and community. How other children act, dress, eat and play. I find playacting to be very telling at this age.

    !5 year olds often feel they know it all and especially more than their parents. Depending on their exposure to other children and families they have started to develop strong opinions on their life and their family life. Where to go? Who to talk to? Is it me or those around me that are good or troubled?

    #5378 Reply
    mindy felixbrod

    A 2 year old still need to have basic needs met – food shelter changing warmth and attention. Depending on the nature of the baby, they might be easy to care for or not depending on whether certain habits and comfort measures have been consistent. The cues from the child will be observable based on how they respond to the new person or CASA – it will require careful observation and asking a lot of questions to the caregivers in order to know if there is certain. food, toys etc that are important. Playing with them with help to see if they interact well and if they appear happy and trusting
    A 7 year old is able to communicate and if questions are good a lot of information will probably be forthcoming directly, She will need much more verbal reassurance and explanation- her mind and development can be critically affected by being removed. This might even end up being her most and first impressionable memory ever. Talking while playing a game might be a good idea
    A 15 year old also need to be explained everything and the causes – and the future and what to expect next more as they are probably more worried about being far from any and all of the support system (friends and family) they have. I think this age can possibly be more rebellious or deviant but they still need to hear it.

    #5413 Reply
    Shama Thakkar

    A 2 year old requires their parental figures for their basic care such as food, water, shelter. They also need/require love, affection and a safe environment. One can determine whether or not the child in this age group is comfortable by whether or not they seem withdrawn, happy, etc.
    A 7 year old is able to ask questions, communicate and demonstrate by their mannerisms and behaviors how they feel, even if they don’t directly express it. For example, if the child does not directly state that he/she is sad, he/she may demonstrate this behavior by becoming withdrawn and becoming less of themselves.
    A 15 year old is also capable of demonstrating their behaviors in similar ways as a 7 year old. Perhaps they are more advanced due to their age, education and better ability to communicate; however, teenagers in this age group may become rebellious and “act out” more.

    #5726 Reply
    Peter Manuel

    A 2-year-old is unable to verbally express him/herself, though the CASA mat be able to make certain assessments based on other behavioral indicators. At this age, the basic needs are crucial–food, shelter, stability–but ability to bond with a parental figure is also essential. If that is not happening with either biological or resource parents, then the need must be addressed somehow.
    A 7-year-old will be verbal but not necessarily able to understand the reasons for being relocated. They are likely to express their emotional needs and frustrations in non-verbal as well as verbal ways. Being shuffled about may be particularly stressful at this age. Alos, by this time their education is important, including being socialized with peers.
    A 15-year-old will be verbal, whether insightfully understanding his/her situation or not. They may be familiar with the social services system and try to manipulate it, whether or not they know what is possible or what is best for them. However, their views and desires are certainly important and need to be considered. Education remains important at this age.

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