Monday, August 17, 2009

Growing Up in the Care of Strangers

The Experiences, Insights and Recommendations of Eleven Former Foster Kids -

"This book is a must read for all persons charged with the responsibility of ensuring 'the best interests' of children in the foster care system. The stories provide valuable insights that can form the basis of a much-needed restructuring of the child welfare, juvenile justice and mental health systems. The question is, will the 'experts' have the courage to listen and act on this information?"

Judge Ernestine Gray, Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, New Orleans, Louisiana,

current President of the National CASA Board of Trustees and past President of the

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

"The heart-rending and heart-warming stories in this sensitive book truly depict the tumult of the foster care experience and are a call to action for change. The authors provide an opportunity to envision success in the youth we serve, and as such, their revelations are a welcome addition to the literature of foster care."

Eileen McCaffrey, Executive Director, Orphan Foundation of America

"This book is the opus of the resilience movement, penned by talented researchers and practitioners who overcame turbulent childhoods. The authors are the ultimate experts on reclaiming troubled children - they speak with the moral authority of having experienced both sides of the helping relationship. These powerful insights must be the centerpiece of all credible 'person-centered' and 'evidence-based' practice and policy."

Larry K. Brendtro, Ph.D., President of the Circle of Courage Institute;

Co-author of Deep Brain Learning: Pathways to Potential with Challenging Youth;

Founder Reclaiming Youth International and Executive Editor, Reclaiming Children and Youth

"These real life experiences serve as a sobering reminder of the work that remains to be done to ensure children brought into the child welfare system are not only safer, but loved and nurtured so they can reach their potential. The book and its authors are an excellent resource for policy makers and advocates who want to develop policy policy based on successful outcomes rather than system failures."

Angela H. Orkin, CEO, The Florida Guardian ad Litem Foundation

"Recounting in detail the abuse, neglect and loss experienced in their own lives, eleven diverse adults who have lived in foster care, residential care, and kinship care share reflections that will challenge and inspire clinicians, students, and policy makers. The writers' ability to describe and reflect upon the pain, trials, and harm that they each suffered is courageous. Sharing their stories is an act of generosity and hopefulness.

Dr. Gary R. Anderson, Professor and Director of the School of Social Work,

Michigan State University, and Editor, Child Welfare