many other places to learn more about attachment and bonding in
maltreated children. A few starting places are listed below.
Zero to Three
is a national, nonprofit organization located in Washington,
D.C., dedicated solely to advancing the healthy development of
babies and young children. Founded in l977 by top developmental
experts, ZERO TO THREE disseminates key developmental
information, trains providers, promotes model approaches and
standards of practice and works to increase public awareness
about the significance of the first three years of life.
734 15th Street, NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005
nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization begun by two adoptive parents
in 1991, Pact has developed a national reputation for excellence
in serving all members of the adoption triad. Each year, Pact
offers educational events attended by more than 1500
individuals, provides - free of charge - over 1000 crisis
consultations to birth parents, and consults with hundreds of
potential adoptive parents. Top priority is given to programs
especially designed to support and inform adopted children and
adopted adults of color.
Sacramento Street Suite 239
San Francisco, CA 94118
(510) 482-2089 FAX
Attachment Parenting International
is a coalition of concerned individuals, professionals, and
grassroots organizations. They advocate special “attachment
parenting” methods to develop and fulfill a child's need for
trust, empathy, and affection in order to create secure and
enduring relationships. This organization feels that attachment
parenting, in conjunction with support groups can not only
strengthen families but provide a simple and cost-effective
model to aid in the prevention of
criminal acts, and other serious
1508 Clairmont Place
Nashville, Tennessee 37215
(615) 298 4334
A special form of emotional relationship. Attachment involves
mutuality, comfort, safety and pleasure for both individuals in
The ability to read and respond to the communicated needs of
another. This involves synchronous and responsive attention to
the verbal and non-verbal cues of another.
A bond is a relationship. Bonds may be of special mutual
emotional nature such as an attachment or they may be based upon
other emotions (e.g., fear – such as seen in the bond between
captor and captive).
Any activity, action or behavior that helps establish or
maintain a relationship.
A specialized clinical-research procedure involving eight
separations and reunions with an infant and their caregiver
designed to determine the nature of the attachments.
Our society has been ineffective in preventing,
identifying, and responding to the maltreatment of children.
The impotence of our social systems to help children does
not mean that you, as an individual, are powerless. Your
actions can have dramatic impact on children in your
community and, by supporting the efforts of effective
organizations, your actions can impact thousands of children
in this generation and in generations to follow.
There are many ways that you can choose to fight the
maltreatment and trauma of children. Whatever method you
choose, know that however small your effort seems, your
participation is critical. In the end, unless we all
participate in some fashion, we will always fall short of
our true potential as individuals and as a society. Choose
to help in a way that works for you. You may want to work
directly with maltreated children, or you may choose to
contribute in any variety of important ways. Please
remember, you don't need to work directly with the child to
be able to make a dramatic difference in their life.
Give Your Time
In your community, there are children that need the gift of
attention, respect, instruction, comfort, and hope. So many
children from abusive settings have lost hope. Even brief
interactions with respectful, honest, and nurturing adults
can be helpful to the abused or traumatized child, allowing
them to know that adults can be kind.
There are many ways to find children who need your time.
Volunteer to be a foster parent, to rock the crack-addicted
infant in the hospital, to teach a child to read, to be an
aide in the local public school, to answer phones at a
battered women's shelter. In all of these settings, you can
enrich the life of a child. You can give a child hope.
Give Your Skills
You may not realize how your skills can benefit maltreated
children. Desperately underfunded child protection, child
welfare, and child mental health systems can always benefit
from the innovative use of your skills. A residential
treatment center may need help with accounting or computer
programming. A local children's shelter may not have a
A dancer can teach some foster children how to dance. A
computer programmer can teach these children computer skills.
A writer can write editorials/articles/books about these
issues or help an agency create a newsletter. Your skills,
whatever they are, can be used to fight abuse.
Give Your Money
In the United States, we spend more money on studying and
treating abusers than we do on their child victims. Research,
clinical services, and specialized professional training in
child abuse are dramatically under-funded. You can help support
these critical activities by financially supporting effective
and innovative programs such as the ChildTrauma Academy.
Please direct donations to:
The ChildTrauma Academy
5161 San Felipe, Suite
Houston, Texas 77056
Checks should be made payable to "The ChildTrauma
As you give time, skills, or money to help these broken
children, you may find that your life will be enriched and
that hope has a new meaning for you. You can make a difference
in the life of a child with your time, and in the lives of
many children with your financial support. Choose to act.
Give Your Voice
Play a role in helping change the policies and practices
that have allowed our society to ignore children. Remember,
children don't vote. And far too many traumatized children
have no effective adult advocacy. We allocate research and
service-delivery dollars in the United States in a way that
reflects political power. Maltreated children have no
political power in this country, nor any other country.
Whenever you can, talk to the media. Talk with your local,
state, and federal representatives to inform them and urge
them to think about the future of our children. Write letters
or send e-mails to make them aware of your concern. They all
say that children are our future. Make them walk the walk and
not just talk the talk.