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Attachment & Biobehavioral Catch-Up

Updated: Apr 17, 2019

Children who experience early adversity, such as abuse, neglect, or the trauma of being removed from their family of origin, are at higher risk for stress-related illnesses, learning difficulties, and a range of behavioral and emotional challenges.

Every child who enters foster care has experienced at least one trauma, and the majority have experienced multiple traumas in their short lives. Decades of research prove that this toxic stress makes it difficult for children to develop important qualities like self-control and self-esteem.

More recent research proves that there is a way to combat this toxic stress. Responsive parenting is one of the key ways to protect a child from the effects of early adversity and trauma. Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC) focuses on three key elements that lead to responsive parenting:

· Responding sensitively when a child is upset

· Taking delight in a child

· Following the child’s lead.

Nurturing your child when he is upset has numerous beneficial outcomes for the child later in life. He knows that he can trust you, and therefore when he is older and needs to express his worries he comes to you instead of seeking outside guidance. He learns that because he can trust you, he can trust others in his life, such as friends or his spouse.

Taking delight in a child allows a child to view themselves in the way that God views His children. A child learns that he is important, feels valued, and gains an incredible amount of self-confidence when their parent regularly expresses, through words and actions, how precious their child is.

Allowing your child to lead play is one of the major contributors to your child developing self-regulation. Parents who follow their child’s lead create kids who have self-control, experience fewer behavioral difficulties in school, and have better vocabulary and communication skills.

AGAPE is proud to have the very first Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC) parent coach in the entire state of Alabama. Our Parent Coach visits the homes of families once a week for ten weeks to assist parents in interpreting and responding to their children’s cues.

These ten weeks lead to incredible outcomes for children, such as a more secure attachment style and more typical patterns of the fight or flight hormone. Even years after ABC intervention, children are more successful in school, have less behavior and emotional problems, and are more likely to be physically healthy and within a healthy weight range.

AGAPE is offering ABC to all its foster families but is also offering this service to families in the community. Call Natalie at 256-859-4481 or send an email to for more information if you are interested in having an ABC Parent Coach come to your home.


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