“I stopped to buy chewing gum and I was getting called ‘sir’ when I opened my mouth”

“When I was 35, when I went full time and was working in my office as a woman, I was acutely aware of the maleness in my voice. That’s when I thought ‘I need to do
something about it.'” – Natasha

Authors Matthew Mills and Gillie Stoneham are leading speech and language therapists. They work with trans and non-binary people who are keen to find and develop a voice that feels more authentic and true to their identity. ‘The Voice Book for Trans and Non-Binary People’ is a comprehensive guide to vocal change and communication that can be used by speech therapists and by trans and non-binary people.  Each chapter features narratives of individuals transitioning, giving an account of their experience transferring voice and communication skills from the clinic to the real world. In this extract, we hear from Natasha, as she describes her journey to find her true voice.

Read Natasha’s story of migration and identity here.

For more information and to buy this book, click here. Want more exclusive content from our books and authors? Why not follow @JKPGenderDiversity or join our mailing list here.

Read an exclusive extract from “Straight Expectations: The Story of a Family in Transition”


Read an exclusive extract from Straight Expectations

Chapter 13: The Transition (2004—2006)

“I did my own research to get clear about what we were dealing with. I wanted to understand the process of transitioning. I realized we needed professional help. There weren’t a lot of resources at that time. The only one who seemed perfectly clear was Julia herself. She was completely confident. She knew who she was now and insisted we had to figure out what to do so she could be the person she knew she was inside. It wasn’t about sexual preference. She was transgender and wanted her brain to be congruent with her body.”

Click here to read the full extract


Ever since they were young, Peggy Cryden noticed her children’s gender expression did not correspond with society’s expectations of their biological gender. In this moving and honest memoir, Peggy details the experiences and challenges of raising both a gay son and a gay, transgender son and shares her family’s journey of adversity and growth, which has helped inform her work as a psychotherapist.

Beginning with her own unconventional upbringing and personal relationships, the second half of the book follows her children from birth to adulthood and through their numerous experiences including coming out, depression, hate crime, relationships, school and various aspects to do with transitioning (legal, physical, medical, social) as well as their appearances in the media as a family. This book is insightful, charming and thought-provoking, and through levity and humor, offers a positive approach to parenting outside of convention.


To learn more about Straight Expectations or to purchase a copy, click here. You can also view the full range of JKP’s gender diversity books here, join our mailing list, or follow us on Facebook.

The demand for new foster carers has never been greater

Foster carers

Andy Elvin, CEO of the UK’s largest adoption and fostering charity TACT, describes the immense contribution that foster carers make on a daily basis to the lives of vulnerable children, but explains how the demand for new foster carers has never been greater.

Monday 8th May saw the launch of Welcome to Fostering, a new JKP book co-edited by myself Andy Elvin, CEO of the UK’s largest Adoption and Fostering charity TACT, and Martin Barrow, former news editor at The Times and a veteran foster carer.  The purpose of the book is to explain how to become a foster carer, and what the experience of fostering is actually like, in the hope that more people take up the mantle. It is packed with case studies from actual foster carers detailing their experiences: their first placements, the challenges they have faced along the way and what it is has meant to them to be making a difference, day in day out, to the lives of these children who depend on them. It also includes case studies and quotes from children in foster care themselves.

Foster care is vital and our need for foster carers has never been greater.  In 2016 there were roughly 93,000 children in state care in the UK, and nearly 75% of these children were in foster care. In England alone, there are currently 70,440 children in care, and this number has been rising steadily for some years.  The demand for new foster carers is therefore ever increasing, especially for those who will care for older children and sibling groups.

Lord Laming recently described foster carers as ‘Heroes of the State’, and he is absolutely right about this. Every day, every week and every year, an army of altruistic, selfless and dedicated foster carers look after children who are amongst the most vulnerable in the UK, and through their daily interaction with them, they come to learn that these children are full of amazing and sometimes limitless potential.

Fostering isn’t easy, it is not for everyone and if you choose to become a foster carer you will learn a great deal about the lives that some families lead, and you will also learn a great deal about yourself. Fostering demands patience, empathy, creativity and above all compassion and desire to help children recover from trauma and neglect and to grow up to fulfil their true potential. To borrow the words of TACT ambassador Lorraine Pascale in the foreword to the book, “Foster families are not only important through childhood but remain important throughout life. It is important that the immense value and positive impact of foster care is recognised, and that more ordinary people consider doing something extraordinary for vulnerable children and young people, and that is to become foster carers. This book offers real-life accounts by foster carers and young people in care, as well as expert advice and case studies. What I am most pleased about is how positive it is, and how it reflects the hopes and aspirations of so many children in foster care and their foster carers. It also highlights what I know, from my own life, to be true, that good fostering can build brighter, happier futures for children and young people.”

We hope that reading this book will encourage you to seriously think about foster care. Deciding to become a foster carer is, in part, an emotional decision but it must also be a decision made with a clear minded understanding of what you are committing to. It is no less than the opportunity to transform a child’s life. Good foster care and good foster carers are one of the most valuable resources the UK has. Very few other roles allow you to make such a positive impact on the lives of others.  Fostering is transformative for both the child and adult.

If you would like to read more articles like Andy’s and hear the latest news and offers on our Fostering books, why not join our mailing list? We can send information by email or post as you prefer. You may also be interested in liking our Adoption, Fostering and Parenting Facebook page.

Join our Pastoral Care and SEN mailing list

teacher resourcesSign up to our mailing list to receive a free copy of our new Pastoral Care and Special Educational Needs catalogue.

Our resources offer valuable guidance on important school issues such as mental health, special educational needs, autism, bullying & peer pressure, safeguarding, restorative justice, sex education & more.

To request a free print copy of the JKP complete catalogue of books on Pastoral Care and Special Educational Needs, sign up to our mailing list below. Be sure to click any additional areas of interest so we can notify you by email about exciting new titles you might like.

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Unorthodox Beginnings – A Poem About a foster family

A poem by TACT Ambassador and 2016 National Poetry Slam Champion, Solomon OB, about what his foster family means to him – as featured in Welcome To Fostering.



She graces stages

West End bound, best friend found in a sibling who

chauffeured her halfway to crazy when we were younger

My sister


She called me baby

As soon as I arrived through those airport doors, she

came charging, screaming, she hugged me with a force

you would expect from a lady who had not seen me

since 10 years before

My mother


He held down swaying relationships at home, light

anchors gripped to sea beds

He sped from Brighton to Bristol and back via London

Picked me up when I was man down behind the enemy

lines of my mind

Before I self-destructed

My brother


He sits across Christmas dinner tables from me and I

wear his family name with pride

And with rose red eyes he told me:

‘I love your mother now more than the day we got


50 years together a testament to the strength they’re both


My foster mother

My foster father


And yes, he calls my foster mother my mother but with

no intent to disrespect my mother

I mean what else would you call your lover?

The woman who raised these kids, bathed these kids,

takes them in like her own

Told them everything will be OK, told them they could be

anything they wanted to be one day


What would you call her?

Saint? angel? magician for making ends meet when others

may not have been able?

Many names from which to choose but I guess on this

occasion mother will do

So yes we are fostered

And when I say this the lines on people’s faces crumble up

like discarded pages of paper laden with mistakes

But we are not mistakes on pages

We are simply awesome novels

With unorthodox beginnings


We are not mistakes on pages

We are simply a crooked introduction straightened out by

proofreaders Pat and Vic

Whose love and guidance set the foundations for straight

lines for us to write the rest of our story on

No we are not mistakes on pages

So this Christmas past I took your last name as a present

to you to show you now that I can give and take


Victor Roy, Patricia Anne Brooker

I love you.


If you would like to read more articles like Solomon OB’s and hear the latest news and offers on our Fostering books, why not join our mailing list? We can send information by email or post as you prefer. You may also be interested in liking our Adoption, Fostering and Parenting Facebook page.

How has the field of dementia care changed in the past 30 years?

dementia field changes 30 years

Dementia Awareness Week 14-20 May 2017

In this article, Professor Dawn Brooker writes for us on the challenges and achievements of 30 years of dementia care. What has changed and what still remains to be done?

Note – The article was originally written to mark JKP’s 30th anniversary this year.

Dementia; Reflections 1987-2017
by Professor Dawn Brooker

The field of dementia care has changed beyond recognition in the last 30 years. In part this has been driven by the sheer numbers of people whose lives are now affected by dementia. In 1987 dementia was a rare condition. It was barely spoken about in its own right but rather was seen as an insignificant part of older people’s psychiatric care. There had been a report published by the Health Advisory Service called “The Rising Tide” in 1982 which highlighted the rising numbers of people we should expect and called for “joint planning and provision of comprehensive services for the elderly mentally ill”. The predictions they made about numbers came true. The number of people with dementia in the UK is forecast to increase to over 1 million by 2025 and over 2 million by 2051. There are over 40,000 people with early-onset dementia (under 65) in the UK. Dementia impacts the whole family and society. A recent survey by Alzheimer’s Research UK showed that a 24.6 million people had a close family member or friend living with dementia. 1 in 3 babies born this year will develop dementia in their lifetime. Unfortunately, the strenuous suggestions the Health Advisory Service made about joined up comprehensive services to meet these growing needs have not yet materialised.

In 1987 I was working as the lead clinical psychologist in the NHS services for older people in Birmingham. Even the language then was radically different. My job title was the EMI (Elderly Mentally Infirm) Clinical Psychologist. My office was in a psychiatric hospital (the asylum) covering many long-stay wards which were mainly populated by elderly people. Some had lived all their lives in hospital having been admitted for being pregnant out of wedlock or for some other “misdemeanour”. Many patients that I saw in those early days had undergone hundreds of electric convulsive therapy treatments, brain surgery and prescribed mind-bending drugs.  There was little formal diagnosis of dementia. People were generally classified as senile. The ward that catered for people with advanced dementia and physical health problems was known as the “babies ward” by the nursing staff and known as “the non-ambulant dements ward” in official documents. This was 1987, not Victorian England. Continue reading

Sign up for the latest Social Work Adults Catalogue and Children and Families Catalogue


Sign up to our mailing list to receive a free copy of our latest Social Work Catalogue for Children and Families and our Social Work Catalogue for Adults.

To request a free print copy of JKP’s complete catalogue of books on Social Work, sign up to our mailing list below. Be sure to click any additional areas of interest so we can notify you about exciting new titles you might like.

By completing the form below you are signing up to our mailing list, but you may unsubscribe at any time.

Borderline Personality Disorder: One Step at a Time

Tracy Barker, author of A Sad and Sorry State of Disorder, is an expert by experience on how to live with and manage borderline personality disorder (BPD), now a happily married home maker committed to raising awareness of BPD, she has written an emotional and honest piece on how it feels to have BPD, the struggles and how to deal with it; one step at a time.

One step, then take a break –
a few days, to recover.
One step, then rest
before embarking on another.

Continue reading

What is it like from a birth parent’s perspective to have your children living in foster care?

Foster care birth parentsIn this extract from Welcome to Fostering, Annie describes what it is like from a birth parent’s perspective to have your children living with foster carers, and provides some useful advice for foster carers on how to manage a good relationship with birth parents. She is the writer of her own blog, Surviving Safeguarding, which tells the story of her ongoing journey to win her children back into her custody. She believes that ‘Fostering is truly a wonderful thing’.

Click here to download the extract

If you would like to read more articles like Annie’s and hear the latest news and offers on our Fostering and Adoption books, why not join our mailing list? We can send information by email or post as you prefer. You may also be interested in liking our Adoption, Fostering and Parenting Facebook page.

Peace Inside: How meditation can transform your mental health

peaceSam Settle, editor of Peace Inside, examines how the time tested practice of meditation – sitting in silence and paying attention to the breath – is helping people maintain a healthy mind behind bars.

“If you don’t go into prison with a mental health problem, then you’re very likely to pick one up while you’re there. And if you do have a pre-existing condition – and many people who come into prison do – it’s probably going to get worse while you’re inside.” So said the head of the mental health team at an Oxfordshire prison, speaking recently to yoga teachers at a training run by our charity, the Prison Phoenix Trust (PPT). Part of the PPT’s work is setting up yoga and meditation classes in prisons, training and supporting qualified teachers for this unusual work. There are currently 144 classes in 79 UK and Irish prisons.

Continue reading