Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Resource Review: The Foster Parenting Toolbox

The Foster Parenting Toolbox is a welcome addition to our Alabama Pre/Post Adoption Connections Region III resource library. These chapters cover many topics that are a must know for foster and adoptive parents. The articles in The Foster Parenting Toolbox are written by professionals, veteran foster parents, adoptive parents, former foster children, and birth parents. These perspectives provide timely assistance for the novice foster parent and professional as well as advice and support to seasoned families. As a social worker who has worked with foster children in residential programs and foster care families, and now as a trainer for professionals and foster / adoptive families, I have seen many parents at their wit’s end as they try to reach the angry, hurting children in their care. Each section of The Foster Parenting Toolbox combines real stories with practical tips and suggestions that will help parents connect with the children in their care.

Why Foster? uses compelling stories from actual foster parents and children to discuss not only the need for loving homes, but also the impact foster and adoptive families can make. Discipline instructs parents on using evidence-based methods for managing even the most difficult behaviors. School Tools educates parents on services for children with learning disabilities and how to handle troublesome family-based school assignments. The Foster Parenting Toolbox also tackles every parent’s worst nightmare- how to prevent and survive false abuse allegations. The editors of this book didn’t shy away from the tough issues parents face each day and they provide the tools and techniques that will equip and encourage parents to continue making a difference in the lives of children.

Within each section, there are numerous resources available for professionals to reference in training and supporting foster and adoptive families. As a trainer for professionals and parents, I will definitely incorporate the stories and handouts in several of our trainings. I also plan to use the Jigsaw Puzzle activity as an interactive tool to help parents understand how abuse, neglect, trauma, and multiple transitions can impact the development of a child. Thank you so much for this great resource that has become a part of our library to be referenced my many parents who will undoubtedly find the answers to their most pressing questions.   

Lindsey Gurley