Unit 2.2 DB: Attachment Case Study
Carrie, a 6-year-old child, is brought into a child guidance clinic by her foster mother. The child was removed from her birth mother about a year ago and the mother has since left the area, necessitating that the court seek to terminate her rights. Little is known about the child’s life with her mother. Carrie has now been released for adoption by the court and it is your job to evaluate her and figure out what services she might need. The child is quiet and shows little interest in the toys around the office. She does not make eye contact and, despite having been with the foster mother for almost 6 months, shows little connection to her. You try to engage Carrie through puppets, but she is only mildly interested. You ask her to draw a picture, which ends up all in black—a house with no windows. You praise her for drawing as you asked, and the child hurriedly rips up the paper and throws it on the floor.
In a separate interview with the foster mother, you ask her to describe Carrie and her behaviors at home. She describes a quiet, listless, and somewhat withdrawn child who does not appear to make friends readily. Carrie has few interests and prefers to be alone in her room. She does poorly in school and the teachers say that she has little desire to learn. She rarely cries even when hurt.
• o As you think about Carrie and what she must have experienced with her mother, what are your observations?
o What do you think her experience with early mothering was like?
o What type of attachment style does she demonstrate?
o What do you think Carrie would need in an adoptive placement?