Books on Attachment for Foster Parents
A Child’s Journey Through Placement by Vera Fahlberg, M.D. – 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.
Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control: A Love-Based Approach to Helping Attachment-Challenged Children With Severe Behaviors by Heather T. Forbes, LCSW – Another great book which goes beyond the theory of why some children struggle to attach and offers a guiding hand and a heavy dose of hope for loving and parenting these children. The first four chapters help parents clearly understand the neurological research behind “The Stress Model”. The next seven chapters are individually devoted to seven behaviors typically seen with attachment-challenged children, including lying, stealing, hoarding and gorging, aggression, defiance and lack of eye contact. We have interviewed Heather Forbes several times on the Creating a Family Show/Podcast.
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.
Facilitating Developmental Attachment: The Road to Emotional Recovery and Behavioral Change in Foster and Adopted Children by Daniel Hughes – This book shows how to work successfully with emotional and behavioral problems rooted in deficient early attachments. In particular, it addresses the emotional difficulties of many of the foster and adopted children living in our country who are unable to form secure attachments. All children, at the core of their beings, need to be attached to someone who considers them to be very special and who is committed to providing for their ongoing care. Children who lose their birth parents desperately need such a relationship if they are to heal and grow. This book shows parents and therapists how to facilitate this crucial bond.
Adopting the Hurt Child: Hope for Families with Special-Needs Kids by Dr. Gregory Keck and Dr. Regina Kupecky – Without sugar-coating the grim statistics, Adopting the Hurt Child provides real hope that hurting children can be healed through adoptive and foster parents, social workers, and others who care. This book is packed full of great information on understanding children who have been abused and neglected. The companion book, Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow, is also a must-read. We have interviewed both Dr. Keck and Dr. Kupecky on the Creating a Family Radio Show/Podcast.
Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka – This book offers ALL parents a glimpse into what makes their children behave the way they do. Through vivid examples and a refreshingly positive viewpoint, this invaluable guide offers parents emotional support and proven strategies for handling the toughest times. Dr. Kurcinka has devised a plan for success with a simple, four-step program that will help you discover the power of positive—rather than negative—labels, understand your child’s and your own temperamental traits, cope with tantrums and blowups when they do occur, develop strategies for handling mealtimes, bedtimes, holidays, school, and many other situations. You can listen to an interview with Mary Sheedy Kurcinka on the Creating a Family Radio Show/Podcast.
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.