The child has had a constant care giver or small number of consistent care givers over an extended period.
A change of caregiver occurs only after a reasonable time of introduction of the new caregiver.
The caregiver consistently responds to the child, taking care of the child’s needs for food, comfort etc.
Any pain or discomfort which the child experiences is remedied by the care giver.
Repeated successful completion of the healthy cycles help the child to develop trust, security and to become attached to his/her primary carer.
Symptoms of psychological or behavioural problems that are commonly seen in children with attachment problems1 include:
Ways to encourage attachment include:
A solid and healthy attachment with a primary caregiver is associated with a child developing a secure identity and understanding of their place in the world e.g. having the capacity to form and maintain other emotional relationships. It is highly recommended that the primary caregiver should be one of the adoptive parents. If a child is placed into full time day care or with a nanny too early on the return to New Zealand the adoptive parents will miss the opportunity to develop attachment with the child. This could also have a detrimental impact on the child. The child would have experienced a major transition from an institution into a new family, new country with a different language and different culture and will require much one on one attention rather than being placed in another institution type setting.
 Fahlberg, Vera I 11994) A Child's Journey Through Placement, British Agencies for Adoption & Fostering, London. UK, pp. 44-52