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Introduction

Child health forms one of the important components of health planning in Our country. Though a number of child care programmes have been formulated to promote physical development, there has hitherto been minimal emphasis on the psychological and social aspects of develop1i1ent. In order to achieve healthy child development in a global form, it is necessary to incorporate various psychological and social interventions into the existing programmes dealing with nutrition, infection control and immunization.

Most child care programmes focus exclusively on the mother and her potentials in adopting newer methods of child rearing. However, very often because of the presence of adverse factors in the family and environment, the mother is unable to incorporate and utilise the important knowledge. It is hence essential that the target person in child development programmes (i.e., the mother) be viewed in the context of her immediate family and neighbourhood and any problems in those areas be resolved. This can be achieved only if the whole family is involved in the intervention process.

There are two important ways in which family intervention and involvement helps in child development.

  1. The family forms the basis of an individual's life and to facilitate any change in the individual it is necessary to make changes in the family. Work on 'child development has convincingly demonstrated that mothers play an important role. Any change in the mothers attitude or functioning can be brought about only through the family's cooperation and change.

  2. The other important aspect of family intervention is the fact that the intellectual, emotional and social functioning of a child is to a large extent modulated by the family. The family's life style and ways of functioning have to be healthy in order to promote optimal development in the child.

This document aims at helping the user acquire knowledge about healthy psychosocial development of the child, the factors affecting it and also helps the user in acquiring skills to make necessary interventions in the family.


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