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Creating Compassionate Foster Care

Creating Compassionate Foster Care

Lessons of Hope from Children and Families in Crisis

Janet C. Mann and Dr. Molly Kretchmar-Hendricks, Foreword by Glen Cooper, MA

Quick Overview

Principles of effective foster care are rooted in personal narratives drawn from over 20 years of experience of social care work. With innovative care models and compelling case studies, the authors reflect on current principles and practice, while identifying and recommending the need for change in certain areas.
Details Price Qty
Paperback / softback
2017, 8.90in x 6.02in / 226mm x 153mm, 256pp
ISBN: 9781785927270
2017, ePUB, 256pp
ISBN: 978-1-78450-381-9
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"Every child's way of being can open doors to wisdom, compassion, and human connection. We need only to listen."

This is among the conclusions that the authors, one of whom is an experienced foster parent and the other a professor of developmental psychology, draw as a result of working with a diverse range of children and families. Inspired by their relationships with families in crisis, the authors began to rethink the traditional foster care models and developed an innovative practice that afforded birth parents the opportunity to reside, under supervision, with their children during evaluation and treatment. Drawing on over 20 years of work in foster care, along with current attachment research and theory, this book conveys the foster care experience with recommendations for improved models of care and intervention strategies.

Engaging case studies depict the challenging nature of determining the best outcome for a child and of supporting the adult's journey as a parent. Written in a narrative style and supported by in-depth research, this book will aid social workers and foster care professionals to better understand families in crisis and to further develop their practice.


'This fine book helps the reader recognize the cost we pay in separating children from their primary caregivers and how this can become an eventual obstacle to reunification. With a high degree of reverence for this complexity, it challenges society: if we want to help the child, we must help the family.'
- Fr. Gregory J. Boyle, Founder of Homeboy Industries and Author of Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion

'This book is a gem! Using the highly evocative stories of parents and their children who have experienced maltreatment, the authors present a relationship-based system of foster care grounded in attachment research.'
- Julie A. Larrieu, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Tulane University School of Medicine

'Creating Compassionate Foster Care makes the therapeutic challenges of helping abusive and neglectful parents real and compelling. This book is both a meditation on changing "internal working models" that lead to child abuse and neglect and the outline of an agenda for reinventing foster care for infants and toddlers.'
- Dee Wilson, former child welfare administrator and author of The Sounding Board, Child Welfare Commentaries.

'If everyone in the foster care system, from policy makers to parents, embraced the relational knowledge in this book I believe it would revolutionize the entire approach to helping some of our most vulnerable children and families.'
- Bert Powell, co-creator of The Circle of Security

'The stories within these pages offer every reader hope and something of a roadmap as to how vulnerability, mixed with commitment and solid science, can create opportunities for children and families that are often considered beyond hope.'
- Kent Hoffman, Circle of Security International

'This gem of a volume is wise, sensitive, honest and informative. For those who work with children and families who are struggling, it is a refreshing reminder of the value of embracing all involved.'
- Charles H. Zeanah, Jr., M.D., Vice Chair, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Tulane University, USA

'A timely and valuable book that offers insight, judicious examination, compassion, hope and authentic guidance in what is an emotionally charged and challenging area.'
- Bob Lonne, B Soc Wk, Ph.D., Professor of Social Work & Discipline Leader, University of New England, Australia


Foreword by: Glen Cooper