2 Development and children
All human beings change and develop over time. But in childhood the rate of development is usually much faster and children’s vulnerabilities and need for well-informed and appropriate care is substantial. Social workers often engage with children and their families where the needs of the child are misunderstood, contested, or neglected in some way. It is essential therefore for social workers to have a clear appreciation of the full range of developmental baselines, from which to appraise each child’s progress and needs, and on occasions, their degree of risk if left unaddressed.