If you’re the foster or adoptive parent of a child with special needs, thank you for opening your home to the most vulnerable and needy members of our society. Many of those children endured severe trauma before arriving in your safe and loving homes. And you, though not the cause of the trauma, deal with its effects every day.
Wounded Children, Healing Homes
You need much more than thanks and applause as you parent your kids. Your children need professional therapy and counseling in order to heal. You need practical support, encouragement and access to professional help to survive. You will learn about all those things in Wounded Children, Healing Homes: How Traumatized Children Impact Adoptive and Foster Families, released by Nav Press in January of 2010.
The book is co-authored by Jayne E. Schooler; Betsy Keefer Smalley, LSW; and Timothy J. Callahan, PSYD, with other chapters contributed by Elizabeth A. Tracy, Debra L. Shrier, and Grace Harris.
Help for Parents, Families and School
The book is divided into five parts. The first section is an introduction and the remaining parts are:
- Understanding Trauma and Its Impact on the Family
- Inside the Crisis of Adoption Breakdown
- The Child, the Family, and School
- Strategies for Successfully Parenting Traumatized Children
The final section is followed by two appendices. The first is titled Assessing Attachment-Readiness and Capabilities in Prospective Adoptive Parents. The second is Building a Support System and Finding Resources.
A Road Map, Not a Cure
The information in the book is more of a road map than cure for families living with deeply traumatized children. It gives parents strategies for creating safe, loving environments where children will gradually heal. It is realistic about the challenges involved, the effects on the family, the strain such children place on a marriage. But it also gives hope, provides resources, and acknowledges the reality of failure in some cases.
If you are an adoptive or foster parent caring for a deeply traumatized child, you should read this book. It not only provides information and strategies, but also explains why traumatized kids act like they do and how parents typically respond to them. What reassurance these words can be to parents dealing with difficult behaviors day after day.
After you read Wounded Children, Healing Homes, come back and leave a comment about what you read.
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