Faculty Associate Victor Groza co-edited the most recent monograph from the Society for Research in Child Development, focusing on the issues of children without permanent parents. The monograph focuses on institutionalized children, primarily those in low resource countries, with chapters on child development in institutionalized care, development of children after transitioning into a family environment, the impacts of institutionalization on attachment, growth and neurological development, the period in which institutionalization is the most damaging, best practices in low-resource circumstances, and the policy challenges for implementing best practices. In addition to editing the volume, Dr. Groza also wrote the chapters on ideal and current alternative care options for these children and strategies for changing the the policy situation regarding these children.
The monograph concludes that their are major delays in a variety of developmental areas for institutionalized infants and young children, and that moving into families through adoption and foster programs helps rapidly improve those delays. The monograph also found that family environments can be lower cost than institutional environments, in addition to providing developmental benefits. Additionally, many of the children in institutions have one or both parents who are able to raise their children but lack financial and social support. Finally, the monograph concludes that child welfare systems should operate with respect for children’s rights, despite the challenges to developing such a system.
Dr. Groza was quoted in a November NPR article highlighting the growing concerns about and subsequent decreasing availability of international adoption. He is the Grace F. Brody Professor of Parent-Child Studies at MSASS and a Senior Research Fellow at the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. He also directs the Adoption PARTners program for adoptive families in the Cleveland area.