Children and Families in Communities
Jacqueline Barnes et al, John Wiley and Sons
£65 – hardback
STAR RATING: 4/5
A sense of place matters to all of us, whether it is a new country to which we’ve escaped, a temporary home which brings with it relief and loss, or a home and community we’ve lived in all our lives, that we will never leave and which makes us feel good and grounded, writes Anthony Douglas.
The importance of place and community in children’s lives is often downgraded in favour of ostensibly more important transitions – such as from one family to another.
This book brilliantly conveys the importance of a sense of place and community for children. Community-based services usually have strong local roots which they use to create personal networks and both social and learning opportunities for service users. The book is crammed with useful and easy-to-follow references about this, such as how North American community schools could help new extended schools in England to find their way.
Another strength is in the international examples used to illustrate what community has come to mean to children and families in different parts of the world. The chapters on children’s participation and parenting problems use international comparisons to draw conclusions that will be valuable to practitioners and managers throughout children’s services.
A first-rate book, which can be both read and applied.
Anthony Douglas is chief executive of Cafcass and chair of the British Association for Adoption and Fostering