Children who have experienced early adversity have been known to be at risk of developing cognitive, attachment, and mental health problems; therefore, it is crucial that children entering foster care can be properly assessed as early as possible. There are known difficulties in assessing children in foster care, for example, in finding a reliable informant. An ongoing randomised controlled trial in Glasgow, Scotland, recruiting infants entering foster care, provides a unique opportunity to explore some of the issues which need to be considered when assessing these children. The assessment data of 70 infants entering care is described while exploring the reliability of foster carers as informants and the importance of infant engagement with tasks. This group of infants was shown to be having more problems than children from the general population. While correlations were found between a carer's level of concern about a child and the severity of a child's problem, there were still a number of children displaying worrying problem scores whom foster carers did not report concern. The child's engagement in the cognitive task showed associations with the child's attainment on the task. Findings emphasise the importance of a holistic assessment for these children and all should be considered as potential cases with Maltreatment-Associated Psychiatric Problems (MAPP).
Pritchett, R., Hockaday, H., Anderson, B., Davidson, C., Gillberg, C., & Minnis, H. (2016). Challenges of Assessing Maltreated Children Coming into Foster Care. Scientific World Journal, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/5986835