Institutional settings or foster care?

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According to findings from a study published in the June issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, moving young children from institutional settings to foster care greatly improves their physical and mental development. Dana E. Johnson, MD, PhD, of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues, reported that within 12 months of involvement in a foster care setting children in Romania reached normal ranges for height in 100% and weight in 90%; additionally, each increase in height was associated with a 12.6 rise in verbal IQ and a 8.14 rise in developmental quotient. Dr. Johnson expressed that, no matter the country, a shift from institutionalized care to foster care improves overall child development. “Psychosocial deprivation within any care-giving environment during early life is as detrimental as malnutrition and must be viewed with as much concern as any severely debilitating childhood disease,” the researchers wrote. Click here to read an article from Medpage Today that discusses this study more.

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