My Foster Care Must-Reads and Should-Reads

Yesterday, I received the following message on Facebook:

My family have just started the long journey of assessment to become foster carers in Australia. I love your page and find it immensely resourceful. If it is not too much trouble, is there any chance you could share your top 10 books on foster care related issues?

I receive this question a lot, and as it happens, I just updated my web site recently to reflect my recommendations for books and other resources that I have found very helpful as a foster parent. I replied to this viewer, but I thought some of you might find these helpful too!

In talking with other foster parents, I sometimes wonder how helpful these books are before you’re actually foster parents. I don’t know how much of what is in these books is helpful theoretically; I came to most of them as a foster parent with two or more children in my care. Their greatest value, I think, is as a practical resource for those who are looking for something to help them understand their kids and feel more equipped to love them well.

But it’s always a good idea to gain knowledge and prepare as best you can. It’s possible that some of this content is interesting before you’re a foster parent but imperative once you’re actually in the throes of being a foster parent.

At any rate, I wanted to shared these with you. There are a lot of books I could have listed—my reading list over the past five years has been long, and until last year, it has almost exclusively dealt with parenting, trauma, trauma-informed parenting, positive parenting, parenting with love and logic… you get the gist.

Click here to see my list of Must-Reads and Should-Reads.

How about you? What are your Must-Reads or Should-Reads as a foster parent? What other resources have you found helpful?

Please share in the comments so we can all learn from one another!

2 thoughts on “My Foster Care Must-Reads and Should-Reads

  1. Alexandra T. says:

    Hi Christy,
    Great idea to include a must-read book list! Here are some other books I’ve found helpful:

    The Foster Parent Toolbox, edited by Kim Phagan-Hansel – a collection of articles from foster parents as well as quotes from children. I’ve found it to be an essential guide and companion, especially because it provides such diversity of viewpoints, approaches, and experiences.

    Full Esteem Ahead by Diane Loomans with daughter Julia Loomans – published in 1994 but still a relevant resource for powerful, loving, creative, and fun self-esteem building activities for children and families.

    Foster Care Odyssey by Theresa Cameron – another older book but a moving, well-written, first person account of growing up in the system.

    Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control: A Love-Based Approach to Helping Attachment-Challenged Children with Severe Behaviors by Heather T. Forbes – Revolutionary and helpful!

    Two more resources I am continually grateful for are:

    Represent Magazine ( – published quarterly in NYC and written entirely by youth in the foster care system, Represent offers honest, first-person accounts that reveal the struggles of children and adolescents in their foster and birth families


    Rise Magazine ( – published 3x/year in NYC, Rise presents the perspectives of parents affected by the child welfare system (i.e. bio parents whose children are in foster care)

    I’d love to hear what resources others find helpful as well.

    Lastly, THANK YOU for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us on this blog as we navigate this journey called foster care.


    Liked by 1 person

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