This is a book about children who have to grow up apart from their biological parents, the impact of this on their lives and on those who look after them, and how we can respond to the challenges this poses in order that they can grow and develop in healthy directions. It provides a systemic framework to describe working with children and adults who are or have been in care or adopted, as well as working with their adoptive parents and carers, highlighting their own narratives and those of professionals working with them.The authors have tried to make space for multiple voices to speak and describe aspects of the care system and life beyond. There are contributions from those who have been brought up away from their biological parents, their adoptive parents and foster or kinship carers. There are also contributions from researchers and professionals with expertise in working with children in substitute care, who describe their theoretical and clinical approaches, privileging the voices of those with whom they work.This book seeks to highlight the possibilities and opportunities that can be offered and taken by people who were not able to grow up in their biological families. Combining a mixture of insider knowledge, realism, creativity and hope, it is essential reading for all working and living in this field.
About the Author
Sara Barratt is a Consultant Systemic Psychotherapist and team leader of the Fostering, Adoption and Kinship Care Team at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust where she also teaches on the Masters Training and the Systemic Supervision course. In her independent practice she consults to systemic psychotherapists, local authority social work teams and works with individuals, couples and families in General Practice.
Wendy Lobatto is a social worker and family therapist, and currently manages "First Step" an innovative psychological health screening and assessment service for looked after children in the London Borough of Haringey, which is commissioned from the Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust. She has worked in the child mental health /social care field for over twenty-five years.
Peter Fonagy PhD FBA is Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis and Director of the Sub-Department of Clinical Health Psychology at University College London. He is Chief Executive of the Anna Freud Centre, London. He is a clinical psychologist and a training and supervising analyst in the British Psycho-Analytical Society in child and adult analysis. He has published over 200 chapters and articles and has authored or edited several books.
Table of Contents
AcknowledgementsAbout the Editors and ContributorsSeries Editors’ ForewordForewordPeter FonagyIntroductionPart I: Overview of the Social, Political, and Clinical Context for Alternative Family Care1) Family placement: continuity and discontinuity over timeJohn Simmonds2) Working with professional systemsWendy Lobatto3) Approaches to working with foster carers and childrenSara Barratt, foster carers, and children4) Under our skins: developmental perspectives on trauma, abuse, neglect, and resilienceGraham MusicPart II: Examples of Clinical Work with Children and Young People5) The journey to becoming a familyAdoptive parents with Sara Barratt6) Working with vulnerability and resilience for separated children seeking asylum: towards stories of hopeGillian Hughes and Neil Rees7) The best thing is the lunch! My friends! Being with other people in the same situation! Oh, and the slow walking! The Fostering, Adoption and Kinship Care Team Children’s GroupJulia Granville8) The strength to smile behind my maskChloe Charles9) Helping children through working with their adoptive parentsSara BarrattPart III: The Voices of Adults Who Have Been Adopted or Experienced the Care System Either as Children or as Those Who Are Currently Parenting ChildrenExtracts from two poemsJackie Kay10) The lived experience of transracial adoptionPerlita Harris11) Positioning and respectful professional interventions for working with the legacy of Irish institutional careValerie O’Brien12) Never too lateJanet, Mark Brownfield, and Sara Barratt13) Co-creating a coherent story with adults who have been fostered or adoptedVal Molloy14) “It turns your whole world upside down . . . but still it brings immense pleasure”: perspectives on kinship careJulia GranvilleIndex