Recommended Reading

  • Foster Care Institute of Books Dr. John's books include-The Foster Parenting Manual: A Practical Guide to Creating a Loving, Safe, and Stable Home,  the children's foster care book A Different Home, A New Foster Child's Story, the top relevant Keeping Foster Children Safe Online, the inspirational best selling memoir Fostering Love: One Foster Parent's Journey, and it's sequel Love and Mayhem: One Big Family's Uplifting Story of Fostering and Adoption, Helping Foster Children in School and Faith and Foster Care.

  • NH Foster and Adoptive Family Resource Guide Also known as the foster parent manual.

  • A Movement To Transform Foster Parenting (2016) Annie E. Casey Foundation

  • Rise magazine is a free newsletter written by parents who have faced the child welfare system in their own lives.

  • The Chronicle of Social Change Free online news publication dedicated to solution-based news coverage of child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health and educational issues faced by vulnerable children.

  • Fostering Today and Kincare Today Magazines for foster parents and relative caregivers. $2.95 individual digital copies, $14 for annual subscription. Back issues available.

  • Adoption Today Free magazine for adoptive parents.

  • Standing in the Shadow of the Law A MUST read for foster parents. An instructional manual of preventative and protective measures for the legal maneuverings of foster care. Learn how to know and protect your rights, prepare for any legal actions, organizing your own case, and how to advocate for justice if allegations are brought against you.

  • The Foster Parent Journal The strongest material you can have in advocating for your foster child is a well-documented daily journal. How to keep a journal and make a life book. 

  • Forever Beach by Shelley Noble. A fiction book you'll swear is non-fiction. Well done account of the foster care system and the journey of a foster-to-adopt single foster mother. A young foster child also struggles with coping with an addict birth mother who wants her back after TPR was filed. 

  • Attachment and Bonding in the Foster & Adopted Child by James Kenny, PhD & Peter Kenny, JD. Dr. Kenny is a biological, foster and adoptive parent and retired psychologist with over 50 years of clinical experience. He has PhD degrees in both Psychology and Anthropology and an MSW in Social Work. His son Peter is an attorney who has devoted his law practice to representing parents who wish to provide permanent homes to children through adoption and also to representing foster parents on a variety of issues. He is the co-founder and executive director of ACT: Adoption in Child Time and he serves on the Board of Directors of the Indiana Foster Care and Adoption Association and Fostering Families Today. This book addresses crucial issues and provides a clear and objective definition of bonding, recommendations for presenting bonding to the courts and for changes in the system to achieve timely permanency.

  • The Connected Child by Purvis, Cross and Sunshine specializing in adoption and attachment. This book will help you: build bonds of affection and trust with your adopted child, effectively deal with any learning or behavioral disorders and discipline your child with love without making him or her feel threatened.

  • Walk to Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way by Wayne and Abraham. Real life story of country music star Jimmy Wayne. It's a miracle that Jimmy survived being hungry and homeless, bouncing in and out of the foster care system, and sleeping in the streets. This is a powerfully emotive account of Jimmy's horrendous childhood and the love shown him by the elderly couple who gave him a stable home and provided the chance to complete his education. Jimmy didn't just overcome great adversity in his life; he now uses his country music platform to help children everywhere, especially teenagers in foster care who are about to age out of the system.

  • Creating Compassionate Foster Care Janet Mann and Dr. Molly Kretchmar-Hendricks describe an innovative approach to foster care that engages foster parents as important partners in this work. This refreshing take delineates principles of effective foster care rooted in personal narratives drawn from over 20 years of experience. 

  • Bonding and the Case for Permanence: Preventing mental illness, crime, and homelessness among children in foster care and adoption. A guide for attorneys, judges, therapists and child welfare by Dr. James Kenny. In addition to the information mentioned above, this author is also the founder of ACT: Adoption in Child Time and Fostering Families Today. This book provides considerable research to show the dire consequences that occur when bonding is ignored in child abuse/neglect cases. To prevent further trauma associated with out-of-home placements, the author has created a blueprint for action to include a listing of relevant laws and policies, information of attachment and bonding, and case law to the effective presentation of a case in court.

  • Nurturing Adoptions: Creating Resilience after Neglect & Trauma by Deborah Gray.  Helpful resource for those caring for children with attachment disorders- it's not just for adoptions. The author provides practical developmentally appropriate advice for helping children of all ages.

  • Foster Parent How to Book by Dr. John DeGarmo, foster care expert. This eBook is full of lots of little tips and ideas on how to .....well, how to for LOTS of foster parent related challenges and issues.

  • How to Help Teens  The Fold Ministries in VT has a comprehensive list of resources for helping young adolescents in crisis.

  • Growing Up in the Care of Strangers: The Experiences, Insights and Recommendations of Eleven Former Foster Kids  edited by Brown & Seiner. Former foster children have chosen to reflect on their childhood experiences through the lens of adult professionals so that their unique knowledge might reach receptive minds looking to improve services to youth living in foster care. The purpose of this book is to provide child welfare professionals' insightful feedback from foster care alumni.          

  • Resource List Variety of foster care, adoption and childhood trauma recommended books, audio visuals and websites. 

  • The Foster Care Survival Guide by Dr. John DeGarmo. A guide to surviving the lifestyle of a foster parent filled with personal stories, practical tips and advice, and even humor and emotions. Essential resource for both novice and experienced foster parents.

  • Nurturing, Healing, Love- A Mother's Journey of Hope & Forgiveness by Scarlett Lewis. A powerful book that highlights love and survival and how to face the impossible, how to find courage when you think you have none, and how to chose love instead of anger, fear or hatred. A story about a tragedy that has transformed darkness into light and sparked the  Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement.

  • No Judge Would Ever Take Her Away by Marianna Litovich from All Our Kids, Inc. Touching, raw and realistic point of view about how other's view foster parenting.

  • Foster & Adoption Blog by All Our Kids, Inc. Regional nonprofit, which seeks to enrich community connectedness among foster/adoptive families in Western MA, raise awareness about the state of the foster care system in their region, and engage the community in supporting foster and adoptive families.

  • The Children Who Raised Me by Shivonne Costa. The author shares her own extraordinary journey through infertility, foster care, adoption, the loss of a child, and raising children with attachment disorders. Striving to shed light on the current child welfare system and mental health issues, this book offers both hilarious and heart-breaking truths on parenting that is filled with stories that any parent can relate to.

  • Treating Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents- How to Foster Resilience through Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency by Margaret E. Blaustein and Kristine M. Kinniburgh. A book designed for clinicians, but helpful to a parent seeking to understand treatment models and interventions that promote resilience, strengthen child–caregiver relationships, and restore developmental competencies derailed by chronic, multiple stressors.

  • ARC Reflections from the Casey Foundation provides caregivers and foster parents with tools and hands-on training to help children and teens build healthy attachments with adults, regulate their emotions and behavior and build strengths and competencies that may have been disrupted by exposure to trauma.

  • Parenting a Child Who Has Experienced Trauma Parents or foster parents who do not understand the effects of trauma may misinterpret their child’s behavior, and attempts to address troubling behavior may be ineffective or, in some cases, even harmful. By understanding trauma, parents and foster parents can help support a child’s healing, the parent-child relationship, and their family as a whole.

For Kids

  • Kids Need To Be Safe by Julie Nelson. This book explains why some kids move to foster homes, what foster parents do, and ways kids might feel during foster care. Children often believe that they are in foster care because they are “bad.”

  •  Ruby the Foster Dog by Jimmy Wayne. Ruby was in a shelter, looking to be adopted and loved and then Mr. James comes along. On their adventure together, Mr. James teaches her about integrity, honesty, loyalty, faith, forgiveness, and trust, but mostly how love can rescue someone and forever change lives.

  • Rose's Foal by Scarlett Lewis. Story about a mother horse teaching her colt about love, being brave, and loss. Readers learn that even if someday the mare and colt do not live on the same farm, they will always be together in their hearts.

  • Maybe Days, A book for Children in Foster Care by Wilgocki and Wright. For many children in foster care, the answer to many questions is often, maybe. This book is a straightforward look at the issues of foster care, the questions that children ask, and the feelings that they confront. A primer for children going into foster care, the book also explains in children's terms the responsibilities of everyone involved - parents, social workers, lawyers and judges.

  • Families Change: A Book for Children Experiencing Termination of Parental Rights by Julie Nelson. A book that helps children understand it’s not their fault and that it's alright to remember and value their birth family and love their new family, too.  Includes resources and information for birth parents, foster parents, social workers, counselors, and teachers.

  • In A Different Home by Dr. John and Kelly DeGarmo is a story about a young girl placed in foster care. At first she is worried because the new home is not like her old home. Written in simple language and fully illustrated in color, this storybook is designed to help children in care, or moving into care, to settle in and answer some of the questions they may have.  Includes notes for adults for how to use with children.

  • Once I Was Very Very Scared by Dr. Chandra Ghosh Ippen is a useful tool to help a child understand how trauma and stress can impact his or her emotions, thoughts, actions, and bodies, and different ways of coping. Click here to download the PDF version of this book or to order a copy.

  • Ann- A Fostering Hope Book by Kelly Krout. Ann gets scared when she can't go home to her parents. Where will she go, and will she ever see them again? Learn how the process works and how you could help others as you follow Ann's journey through foster care

General Disclaimer: Thank you for visiting the FOSTERING CHANGE: Alliance for NH Foster Parents website. The information on this site is for personal and educational purposes only. Our organization disclaims any liability or responsibility arising from the usage or the content of our website or any suggestions from an Alliance representative. Please be sure to double check any referenced laws, rules or regulations as they may have been revised or eliminated. The Child Protection Act RSA 169-C mandates that any person who has reason to suspect that a child is being  abused, neglected, maltreated or exploited must make a report to the proper authorities.  All citizens in the state of NH are mandated as reporters for 169-C , therefore let it be known that  any information that is shared with an Alliance representative, which must be reported within the context of the law in accordance with 169-C, will be reported. If you know a child at risk, please call 9-1-1 and/or the DCYF Central Intake Hotline immediately at: 1-800-894-5533. 

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