Supporting healthy attachment: An overview for child welfare practitioners

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CECW Information Sheet #56E. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto, Faculty of Social Work.

Healthy attachment is an enduring emotional connection between an infant and a specific person, often the primary caregiver or mother, developed by a caregiver’s consistent and satisfactory responses to the child’s emotional and physical needs. Healthy attachment in infancy helps to ensure that the neural pathways within a child’s brain are well prepared to handle stress, reduce anxiety and easily absorb new information and experiences. A secure attachment builds a child’s confidence that his or her needs will be met consistently, sensitively and lovingly, especially during times of stress.

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Information Sheet #56