1. What is Attachment?
Babies and children develop a pattern of attachment based on their experiences with their primary caregivers, usually their mother and father.
Attachment describes the way a child relates to the parent so as to ensure that they remain close and safe. Babies and small children cannot care for their basic needs and therefore develop a way of ensuring that they are within safe reach of a parent or carer. Different patterns of attachment develop depending on the parent’s availability and responsiveness to the baby's signals.
Why is attachment important in adoption?
Humans need attachment as our survival is dependent on our emotional ties with others as we grow.
Babies are social beings from birth and have the ability to interact with their carers. Sensitive and responsive care of the baby from the beginning has been identified as the vital ingredients to promote a secure infant–parent relationship. If received consistently, overtime the child will grow with confidence which will help him or her develop trusting relationships with others.
The way a child is cared for in the early years has a powerful influence on his or her development and later functioning in life. Children who have been placed in care have often had their attachment disrupted. This section will explain the key attachment patterns that these children learn based on the quality of care and attention they receive in their early years. You will then explore and learn what you can do to help children who have not developed secure attachments.