Foster Care Books For Parents

Foster care books

The Foster Parenting Manual

The Foster Parenting Manual: A Practical Guide to Creating a Loving, Safe and Stable Home by John DeGarmo – A comprehensive book with practical advice from fellow foster parents on common issues within the foster care system such issues such as school support, internet use and birth parent contact. DeGarmo, himself a foster parent, distills his many years as a foster parent into straight-forward advice on how to make your foster child feel safe, secure and loved at their temporary home. An excellent resource.

A Child's Journey Through Placement

A Child’s Journey Through Placement by Vera Fahlberg, MD – An insightful and practical guide, this book provides valuable resources and tools for social workers, adoption professionals and foster parents. It outlines the significance of attachment and separation, the developmental stages specific to adoptive children and and gives straight-forward advice on how to minimize the trauma of moves. The book also features practical advice on case planning, managing behavior and direct work with children, and throughout are case studies and exercises which provide opportunities for further learning.

Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents

Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today’s Parents by Deborah Gray – A classic adoption book and a comprehensive guide for prospective and actual adoptive parents on how to understand and care for their adopted child and promote healthy attachment. Attaching in Adoption gives parents practical strategies to enhance children’s happiness and emotional health. It explains what attachment is, how grief and trauma can affect children’s emotional development, and how to improve attachment, respect, cooperation and trust. Simply the best! Gray has also written a companion book–Nurturing Adoptions: Creating Resilience After Neglect and Trauma–for professionals. You can listen to several interviews with Deborah Gray on the Creating a Family Radio Show/Podcast.

Adopting the Older Child

Adopting The Older Child by Claudia L. Jewett – One of the classics of adoption literature, and for good reason. Adopting The Older Child gives an in-depth examination of the older child adoption process, including the the feelings and reactions of everyone involved. Jewett characterizes the entire adoption journey from the viewpoint of each participant without neglecting the red-tape snafus that can delay or distress, and uses five composite cases to illumine the more common stumbling blocks and dividends. It traces the adjustment stages from the honeymoon period, through the testing phase and on to the full integration into a family, and offers practical, caring advice on how to handle the unique struggles of each phase.

A Guidebook for Raising Foster Children

A Guidebook for Raising Foster Children by Susan McNair Blatt, MD – Written by a pediatrician, this book is a down-to-earth guide for how to raise foster children. It frankly discusses common issues, both big and small, and offers practical suggestions for resolving them, including when to call in a professional. The book attempts to address the needs of the children going through the system and provide helpful information about health, behavior, school, and many other aspects of a foster child’s life. A fantastic resource for any family raising foster children.

The Children Money Can Buy: Stories from the Frontlines of Foster Care and Adoption by Anne Moody

The Children Money Can Buy: Stories from the Frontlines of Foster Care and Adoption by Anne Moody – Part analysis, part memoir, The Children Money Can Buy chronicles Moody’s lifelong commitment to the world of adoption and foster care. Moody touches on the adoption sector’s ugly side, such as ‘baby buying’ and profit-driven adoption facilitators, but takes care to counterbalance these negatives, however, by also detailing the positive changes that have occurred in the field over the course of her career, such as the increase in open adoptions. Both a social worker and an adoptive mother, Moody provides compelling behind the scenes anecdotes that span state, international and domestic adoption. A a great read for anyone exploring adoption.

The Connected Child

The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family by Dr. Karyn Purvis – This book is often the first book that parents read when adopting a child past infancy or a child “from a hard place.” This is an excellent parenting book for all parents regardless how their child joined the family, but it pays special attention to addressing the sometimes complex and confusing behaviors of foster/adopted children. What I appreciate as much as Dr. Purvis’s wisdom is her warmth and compassion for both the child and the parents and her basic philosophy of “focus first on connections and then on corrections.” After reading this book, you will feel hopeful and energized. You can listen to an interview with Dr. Purvis on the Creating a Family Radio Show/Podcast.

Siblings in Adoption and Foster Care

Siblings in Adoption and Foster Care: Traumatic Separations and Honored Connections by Deborah N. Silverstein and Susan Livingston Smith – The sibling relationship is emotionally powerful and critically important, giving us a sense of continuity throughout life. So what happens when a child loses contact not only with his or her parents, but with siblings too? That is what happens in thousands of cases each year inside the child welfare system. This book is a comprehensive resource on issues facing siblings during foster care or adoption – both biological and adopted, and discusses practical ways to nurture sibling bonds and mental health strategies to support those relationships, as well as the legal rights of siblings to be together and issues in international adoptions.


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Image credit: Randy Martin