The 30-hour MAPP training (Model Approach to Partnerships and Parenting) in New York City that my wife and I attended in July of last year was to determine if we were ready to become foster parents. A few years ago, we talked about the prospect of fostering a child. Through our foster care agency’s training and discussions with current foster parents, we gained a great deal of knowledge about the system. Foster care is far more complex, flawed and messy than we ever imagined. That doesn’t mean, though, that becoming a foster parent isn’t a worthwhile endeavor. However, this needs a great deal of time and effort. Fortunately, there are a number of excellent books on foster care that may assist you in making the best possible decision for your family and the children that may come into your life. Whether you’re a foster parent, a foster child, or a family member of one, these books can help you negotiate the complexities and emotions of becoming a foster parent or family member.
It was a challenge to compile this list, to be honest. While portraying fostering as a heroic act, many works on the subject tend to demonize the parents—often people of color—who have their children snatched from them in the process. Books about the realities of the foster care system are needed. I’m not claiming this is always the case. Even more difficult is finding a book about fostering rather than adoption. There is a strong connection between the two, but they are not the same thing. The ultimate goal of fostering is to return a kid to his or her biological parents. Adoption by foster families is a common occurrence for children in care, although it is always a last resort. So I’ve attempted to read books that are more about foster care than adoption. More books for youngsters on adoption can be found here.
Books About Foster Care For Foster Parents
To The End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care by Cris Beam
There are no frills in this book; it takes a hard look at a severely flawed system. In spite of her own experience as a foster mother, Beam doesn’t write purely from her own perspective. Rather, she follows the trail of the foster care process from the moment the child is placed in a household until they “age out.” Beam is unafraid to acknowledge the foster care system’s racial origins while also holding out hope for a more positive future.
Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America by Nefertiti Austin
When Austin found that every adoption book she could find was written by a white person, she decided to write her own narrative about adopting a black child from the foster care system. Austin aims to challenge our idea of motherhood as a white phenomena by revealing the racism and sexism she encountered on her path (such being questioned why she wanted a “crack baby”).
Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter
For someone who has spent nine years in and out of 14 different foster families, there is no better person to talk about the system’s flaws. When Rhodes-Courter was three, she was taken into foster care in Florida, where she was abused and neglected by a number of homes until being adopted. Her autobiography, which she wrote at the age of 22, was a New York Times bestseller. Currently, Rhodes-Courter is a master’s degree in social work and a philanthropist who has adopted and fostered children herself.
Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare by Dorothy Roberts
Check out Shattered Bonds if you truly want to learn about the racial disparities in the foster care system. Penn Program on Race, Science, and Society founder Roberts provides an incisive exposé on the welfare state’s treatment of children. Roberts, a legal theoretician, uses interviews with Chicago foster families to show how the system frequently fails families of color.
Books About Foster Care For Children In Care
“Child/Children in Care” rather than “Foster Child” is a more inclusive term, according to MAPP training. Foster families in different parts of the country may use different terms, and this is just one example. To keep things simple, I’ll use the term “kid in care” to refer to youngsters who are in foster families for the duration of this piece.
The Who Loves Series
The books in this series are written for a variety of ages. For children ages 0–3, Who Loves Me? is appropriate for children ages 3–7, and I Am Loved is appropriate for children ages 7–10. Children in care are reminded that they are loved by all of the adults in their lives in each book. There are three books in this series, and you may buy them all separately or as a set if you’re planning on having a foster child for a long time.
Our Gracie Aunt by Jacqueline Woodson and Jon Muth
For young readers, Jacqueline Woodson’s novels are an absolute must-have. Children who are entrusted in the care of a close cousin or friend in a realistic and sympathetic way are the subject of this children’s book. There are many types of families, and I wanted to write a book on this,” Woodson states on her website. Who you live with does not define a family, but how much they care about you.”
Far From The Tree by Robin Benway
The 2017 National Book Award and Pen America Award-winning YA novel Far From the Tree explores foster care and adoption. There are three siblings in the story: Maya, Joaquin, and Grace. They’ve all been adopted or have spent time in the foster care system. A life event prompts Grace to look for her biological family, and the three siblings discover what it means to be a family.
Maybe Days by Jennifer Wilgocki and Marcia Kahn Wright and Alissa Imre Geis
Trying to explain foster care to adults is difficult enough; we can only image how difficult it is to do it to children. Fortunately, Maybe Days helps explain all of these elements in a way that is easy to understand, and it is specifically designed for children who are entering the foster care system. It outlines the duties of foster parents, social workers, and even the judicial system. Finally, it encourages kids to keep doing what they do best: being kids.
What I Carry by Jennifer Longo
Muriel, or Muir, as she is known in the book, is a girl who is about to leave the foster care system. Due to the fact that she has spent her entire life in foster care, Muir has learned to be cautious about forming too strong of a bond with anybody or anything. Muir begins to form an attachment to Francine at the age of 17, when she is placed in her final placement with her in a small island town, in spite of her better judgment.
Books About Foster Care For Biological Children In The Foster Family
It’s Okay To Wonder by Rhonda Wagner and Jim Lutz
If you have biological children, they might be one of the most challenging relationships to manage in foster care. Avery, a young girl whose parents have opted to foster, is the subject of this children’s novel. The new family dynamic she may be a part of causes her mixed feelings, which her grandparents help her to accept. When Wagner’s daughter and son-in-law chose to become foster parents, she wrote this book for her own granddaughter.