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(p. 367) The Deprived Child and How He Can Be Compensated for Loss of Family Life 

(p. 367) The Deprived Child and How He Can Be Compensated for Loss of Family Life
Chapter:
(p. 367) The Deprived Child and How He Can Be Compensated for Loss of Family Life
Author(s):

Donald W. Winnicott

DOI:
10.1093/med:psych/9780190271350.003.0074
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date: 18 July 2018

In this lecture, Winnicott discusses how the best environment for a growing child is the home environment, but that children are often sent away from their homes. A deprived child is ill, and environmental readjustment alone will not bring about a change from illness to health. Winnicott assesses varieties of deprivation and the types of social provision for such children. The child may do well away from home or the home will do well with the child away, but good management of the child is crucial. Child-care officers need as much information as possible about a child’s life to even approximate the knowledge of the ordinary parent, and lack of this personal knowledge is a serious loss for the deprived child. Good work has to be personal, otherwise it is cruel and tantalizing. Foster parents offer advantages for a larger number of children, but an unsuitable child can spoil a whole group, so careful selection is vital. There will always be children who abuse privileges, and then the children who could use them will have to suffer.

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