Kinship Care General Books for Adults
The Grandfamily Guidebook: Wisdom and Support for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren by Andrew Adesman and Christine Adamec – This is a timely resource as grandparent-led families are on the rise in our culture. The Grandfamily Guidebook offers expert advice and helpful insights as grandparents navigate issues of finances, legal considerations, and medical issues common when grandparents and grandchildren become a grandfamily. There are practical tips on topics such as self-care, difficult relationships with birth parents, grandchildren’s school issues, changes to social life, and how to address grandchildren’s behaviors that are rooted in trauma and neglect. stem from a difficult past.
Modern Families: Parents and Children in New Family Forms by Susan Golombok. The research is coming in–parents and children in “new” families (single moms, same sex, IVF, donor, surrogacy) are doing just fine. In fact, they are thriving. Modern Families explores all the research on these new family structures. The author, Dr. Susan Golombok is the leading researcher world wide on how new forms of families are doing and how they affect children. While all this talk about research may sound dull, this book is anything but. Golombok has a way of making the research understandable and fascinating. The introduction talking about what makes strong families and good parents is one of the best summaries we’ve seen. Great book!
The Addicted Child: A Parent’s Guide to Adolescent Substance Abuse by Richard Capriola – A non-technical guide for parents to better understand the issues of adolescent substance abuse. Information is provided on identifying and finding treatment, common substances used by today’s young people, and the issues surrounding addiction such as self-harm, disordered eating, and more. The author also includes how to find a counselor and how to know it’s the right fit, with the right help for their child.
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.
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 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 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.
Dancing with a Porcupine: Parenting Wounded Children Without Losing Your Self by Jennie Lynn Owens – When Owens and her husband started their adoption journey, they were convinced that love would heal all wounds. They were unprepared for the realities of adopting three children from foster care. Owens felt alone and inadequate. She wanted so much to help your child, but was also at the end of her rope. Dancing with a Porcupine chronicles her struggle to stay loving, giving, and forgiving in the midst of a daily battle with children acting out the rage, resentment, and pain of their own traumatic pasts. A fantastic read for anyone considering becoming a foster parent.
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