Training Material: The Foster Carers Handbook for Carers of Children 11 years and Under

 The Foster Carers Handbook for Carers of Children 11 years and Under
 Ann Wheal with Meral Mehmet
 Russell House Publishing
 ISBN: 9781903855966,

This book provides a range of useful information, primarily for the use of foster carers, in an easy to read and accessible format, writes Geoff Corbishley.

It covers most aspects of foster care from the initial process, to introductions and to how children experience foster care. Accompanying these are more specific chapters targeting such aspects as education, health and social, and emotional issues.

The book is designed to be dipped into and has been laid out to make this easy. There are frequent clear headings, good use of bullet pointed lists, pictures, contributions from children who are in care, and exercises to do with the fostered children.

The information is relevant and current and presents a range of topics to the foster carer, for example dyslexia, in clear and simple key points, providing just the right balance of information.

It would be interesting to learn why the book was produced for under-11s with an associated book for the over-11s, since much of the information seemed relevant to all children, so one bigger book may have provided a more complete resource.

The content was concise and references were sometimes given, but the book could have benefited from more pointers to help foster carers access more detailed information.

A foster carers’ handbook should perhaps also have a chapter giving consideration to how the carers can look after themselves. However, as a general introduction to fostering issues, this book ticks almost all the boxes and can be thoroughly recommended.

Geoff Corbishley is a professional foster carer

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