These are books I’ve written for British Association for Adoption & Fostering. Each of them gave me wonderful opportunities to talk to real people who were involved in adoption and fostering in all sorts of personal and professional ways.
These books can be ordered from the BAAF website
I loved writing this guide as it gave me a chance to pass on so many of the hints and tips I’d come across when working with leaving care workers and organisations who support and work with young people in care, such as The Who Cares Trust? and A National Voice. And I was able to put forward a few ideas of my own I’d developed while coaching and training young people…
Amazingly inspiring and sometimes harrowing stories of foster carers who stick with young people through some of the most challenging experiences imaginable – including foetal alcohol syndrome, extreme neglect, sexual abuse, HIV, serious disability and asylum seeking. I learnt so much from listening to carers sharing these stories – and I also got to speak to meet some of the young people they looked after, and to hear about life from their perspective.
Children and young people have a right to know about their past and to maintain important relationships. But they also have a right to avoid contact with people that frighten or threaten them. Researching for this book gave me the opportunity to read about the huge range of experiences of children, their adopters and foster carers and birth families. I came to the conclusion that you have to be flexible and creative when you’re trying to give children a healthy sense of their identity. Children’s needs change as they get older and we have to make plans that reflect this.
When I was a wet-behind-the-ears press officer at BAAF Adopting a child was virtually my bible.. So to be asked to write the fostering version of this book was a real privilege. It was also great to be able to bust some of the myths about fostering by helping readers to understand how and why children come into foster care, and what it really means to open your home to a child who is probably very scared and confused.