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Understanding Looked After Children

Understanding Looked After Children

Jeune Guishard-Pine | Lloyd Hamilton | Suzanne McCall



Understanding Looked After Children is an accessible guide to understanding the mental health needs of children in foster care and the role of foster carers and support networks in helping these children.

The authors provide foster carers with an insight into the psychological issues experienced by children in the care system, and the impact of these issues on the foster family. Chapters cover cultural, social and legal structures associated with foster care and both the relevant child psychology theory and examples drawn from real-life situations. The authors give advice on how to address common psychological issues in collaboration with multi-agency professionals, as well as how to access to statutory services. They also explain the possible impact of assessments on foster children and the causes and management of foster carers' own feelings of frustration, anger or disappointment with social and mental health services or the placement itself. Chapters are complemented by case studies, and the book includes a helpful glossary to common terminology.

Understanding Looked After Children is essential reading for registered foster carers and those considering fostering, as well as adoptive parents, and a useful reference for trainee and experienced practitioners in the care system, including social workers, psychologists, counsellors, teachers and others looking after vulnerable children.

Fostering is bout more than providing warmth, shelter, security and a family for looked after children. Rightly, this book acknowledges that looking after the most vulnerable children in our society requires everyone involved in their lives, to understand the mental health issues that they may have. It also acknowledges the potential impact of these issues on the foster carer who is looking after them... I would certainly recommend this book for those involved in fostering. I wish I had access to it 10 years ago when my fostering career began.
Foster Care Magazine
The authors have the authority of experience, and they neither give an over-glowing picture of foster, nor condescend. Their book will be suitable for adoptive parents and by professionals, whether trainee or experienced.
The Psychologist
I could not think of any area of importance for foster carers not covered in this book. It is realistic in outlining the challenges, but avoids making fostering too daunting or expectations of carers unrealistic
Seen and Heard
Jeune Guishard-Pine is a lead clinician and consultant psychologist at Luton Family Consultation Clinic. She is also a consultant psychologist in private practice. She has been researching and practising psychology since 1978 and has worked in social services for both statutory and voluntary sectors. Suzanne McCall is a counsellor at the Luton Family Consultation Clinic working with adolescents, parents and foster carers and also works from her own private practice. She is also a qualified social worker with ten years of experience working with looked after children and children in need and at risk. Lloyd Hamilton is a systemic psychotherapist and Team Manager of the Lewisham Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service looked after children team; part of the South London and Maudsley Foundation Trust. Lloyd is also a teacher and began working with diverse communities of young people in London schools in 1992.
I am delighted that the foster care worforce, too often rather patronised by other childcare professionals, is being offered a text of this sophistication . The book consists of 10 chapters, with handy checklists, questionnaires and often subtly-chosen case studies... The book highlights the strengths carers need to stay attuned to the the child's feelings of powerlessness and disappointment.
Children & Young People Now