Infants in Foster Placement: Early Trauma

Infants in Foster Placement: Early TraumaA Difficult Beginning

Statistics have shown the majority of children (up to 80%) in New Jersey who die from maltreatment are under the age of three. Very young children—including infants—suffer more fatalities due to their inability to defend or care for themselves, ask for help, or distrust their abuser. As a result, infants and other young children are more frequently placed in foster care, and, due to their vulnerable state, they often suffer the most trauma.

The System

Despite this harrowing statistic, many infants end up in foster placement due to the protocol for handling babies born with drugs in their system or with fetal alcohol syndrome. Often, when a baby is born with drugs in his or her system, the hospital will place the baby in temporary care while the mother is treated for substance dependency. Because expectant mothers and new mothers need a lot of support to treat their dependencies and take care of their baby, removal of the baby from the mother seems—from a policy standpoint—the best thing to do. In reality, infants put in foster placement can suffer long-lasting trauma.

The Effects

Not only will the infant suffer from lack of important bonding with his or her mother, the conditions under which he or she is cared for—such as in the hospital while a resource family is identified—are not much better. Unfortunately, during these formative months, and the years that follow while the infant becomes a toddler, brain growth, and development skyrocket. Without close care and nurturance infants in foster placement can suffer slow or delayed development, setting them up for difficulties for the rest of their lives.

Expectant mothers need all the help they can get, and infants should be protected at all costs. Taking an infant away from its mother should be a last resort, but it happens too often. If you or a loved one has had an infant taken away, you should consult with an experienced New Jersey child welfare attorney about your options. This is a crucial stage of development for babies, and it’s important to try to have as much contact as possible with your newborn. An attorney can explain what will happen to your infant and work to keep you in contact and reunified with your baby as soon as possible.

Has your infant been taken away? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled attorneys can advise you of your rights and help you stay close to your baby until you can be reunified. Located in Short Hills, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.

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