In the last decades new research findings have illuminated many of the factors that affect the mental health development of the pre-verbal child. Attachment theory has emerged as a central concept which has great applicability to the clinical field of infant-mental health. The new knowledge base has been utilized by clinical research programs to develop new models of clinical intervention programs with infants-at-risk and their families. This article describes some of the theoretical and research findings which can be translated to, and enhance, traditional child welfare practice. The theoretical considerations are illustrated by case examples.
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