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Non-organic failure to thrive is a common outcome in maltreated children, who often come to hospitals in a state of serious decompensation. In the field of child protection, foster care is often the most common solution, but unsuccessful multi-placed in foster care worsen the child’s clinical condition, which is already very critical. This paper reports the case of a 3-years old boy with serious impairments caused by early physical abuse, neglect, institutionalization, and unsuccessful multi-placed in foster care, who showed a developmental recovery after a prompt and prolonged hospitalization. A multidisciplinary and multi-focus intervention was adopted, in which the role of hospital holding as preliminary containment tool, and the medical-nursing staff’s mothering was crucial. Promoting emotional containment and developmental catch-up in abused children, hospitalization should become an eligible therapeutic choice in clinical practice with maltreated children.
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