About Providing Emotional Support for Children
under the Jurisdiction of Dependency Court

Why A Teddy Bear:

Caring for Children (and Comfort for Court Kids®, Inc.) has taken upon itself the serious and desperately needed task of easing
the suffering and deprivation experienced by children living under debilitating circumstances with the use of the Teddy Bear
as a vehicle for developing a more effective community mental health strategy.

A time-honored friend familiar to most of us in the western world - the Teddy Bear, a symbol of love, comfort and connection -
is the vehicle through which the organization carries out a large and important outreach. Thousands of Teddy Bears are
being made available to abused, homeless and abandoned children, foster children and overtly neglected children,
ranging in age from infancy to adolescence.

The general hypothesis, to be tested by follow-up interviews, is that many of the deprived and abused youngsters
will bond strongly to a warm, furry, cuddly Teddy Bear during a period of heightened emotional crisis, and that
the Teddy Bears can and will become "more than a toy."

"More than a toy", because the Teddy Bear, which has may external human features, can be a special "friend" to the child,
assisting the youngster in playing out some of his /her greatest immediate dramas. Just as the school playground,
where a child develops motor skills over time, constitutes "serious play," (unlike play that is simply recreational or frivolous),
this play with a Teddy Bear is also serious business. Although not a permanent or real substitute for a loving human being,
the Teddy Bear helps to preserve, and even to stimulate, healthy mental activity that otherwise might be significantly and
permanently lost to the child.

In the child's mind, the Teddy Bear can become either a make-believe companion or a temporary substitute for a real person.
The child then can provide himself/herself, via fantasy, with opportunities for loving and nurturing that are missing in reality.

It is known that, through their serious play, children who are able to form strong and stable bonds can preserve -
even embellish - their capacity for fantasy, imagination, and problem - solving using language. Sadly for all of society,
children deprived of real loving persons and key inanimate objects available for such bonding often become predisposed in
later life to depressions, other major mental illnesses, severe social problems and an overall marginal lifestyle.

Caring For Children (and Comfort for Court Kids®, Inc. ) hopes to contribute substantially to the emotional and psychological
well-being of vulnerable children in crisis; the organization is committed to pursuing bona fide and meritorious
projects toward this end.

Caring For Children, Inc. has given CCK permission to republish this article written by Richard Lieberman, M.D.

Caring For Children, Inc. 375 Euclid #317 San Francisco, CA 94118 H. Samantha Grier, President

he Ultimate Teddy Bear Book, by Pauline Cockrill New York, Dorling Kindersly, Inc., 199 0

20th Century Toys, Consultant Editor: James Opie with Duncan Chilcott and Julie Harris Secaucus, New Jersey: Wellfleet Books, 1990

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