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2001 Jordan Institute
for Families

Vol. 6, No. 1
February 2001

Best Interest and TPR

  • The child has a basic need for care, stimulation, continuity and reciprocity. The child welfare system cannot provide continuity and falls short in providing reciprocity. Only membership in a stable family can answer the child's questions: "Who will take care of me?" and "Who will be there for me?" TPR and adoption provide a chance for the child to be a member of a family where he will receive this continuity of care.

  • The child needs stable roots to promote identity development. Multiple placements result in multiple roots — a confused life and sense of self. A family connection that is permanent is a way to answer the child's questions: "Who am I?" and "Where do I fit in the world?" The child needs to belong to a family where he can sink permanent roots.

  • A child needs to be claimed to believe he has worth. A child who has been moved or who fears the possibility of a move does not think he is worth loving or keeping. A child who does not feel loved or valued will not be able to love or value others. A permanent family connection will answer the child's question: "Does anyone love me enough to keep me?" A child needs to be claimed by a family where he will be valued.

Source: Malpass, J. & Thompson, J. (2000). Case building toward permanence: A curriculum for child welfare social workers. Raleigh, NC: NC Division of Social Services.


2001 Jordan Institute for Families