Assessing and Promoting Resilience in Vulnerable Children - Vol. 1

Assessing and Promoting Resilience in Vulnerable Children - Vol. 1

Assessing and Promoting Resilience in Vulnerable Children - Vol. 1

Assessing and Promoting Resilience in Vulnerable Children - Vol. 1

Synopsis

This workbook shows the importance of encouraging resilience in pre-school children who have disrupted home lives or are in other difficult situations. Focusing on assessment of need, the authors show how to evaluate resilience using checklists and background information and considering 'protective factors'.

Excerpt

Background information

Good educational attainment is associated with good outcomes and is therefore a protective factor that should be aimed for (Rutter 1991). School or pre-school provision also offers a wide range of other opportunities to boost resilience, including acting as a complementary secure base, providing many opportunities for developing self-esteem and efficacy and opportunities for constructive contact with peers and supportive adults (Garbarino et al. 1992; Gilligan 1998).

There may be a temptation for practitioners to concentrate on issues of attachment with young children. However, when a child is unsettled intellectual development cannot be suspended: the early years are so vital for cognitive development that it must always be a priority for attention.

Children’s early cognitive development is described as moving through the sensorimotor stage where they have no mental representation of events to the pre-operational stage when internal representations are beginning and can be seen in the use of language and make-believe. Piaget (1952) described children at these stages as being essentially egocentric and unable to appreciate another person’s point of view. Using more ecological and naturalistic methods researchers have found that children can, in fact, demonstrate many of these skills earlier than Piaget described, but there are no doubt significant changes in cognitive skills during school years (Donaldson, 1978).

Very young children, while obviously not receiving full-time formal education, can be nourished and encouraged in terms of their general abilities in many simple but important ways. the development of cognitive skills does not occur in isolation:

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