Written specifically for practitioners in the child care and protection field, this text summarizes current thinking in this area and applies this to practice. The quality of children's interactions and the importance of assessing them as part of a social network forms a major theme of the book. The authors outline how attachment theory can be helpful for child care and protective practice as it relates language and cognitive, moral and social development to the quality of human relationships. The impact of abuse and neglect on children in infancy, at shcool age and during adolescence is contrasted with outlines of what can be considered "normal" development. Presenting case studies and opportunities to reflect on current methods of treating children, this work encourages practioners to respond to the circumstances of each child as unique, and seeks to link theory and practice in an imaginative and sympathetic way.