Book Reviews

    Keys to Citizenship: A Guide to Getting Good Support
    Services for People with Learning Difficulties.
      Four
    stars
    .

    Simon Duffy, Paradigm, ISBN 0954306821, £20

    Anyone involved in working out positive futures with
    people with learning difficulties, must make sure that they have
    this book to share with friends, writes Val Williams. More than
    just a book about “good support services”, this volume covers
    service-led topics such as direct payments or supported employment
    – all embedded within Duffy’s central model of how to attain
    citizenship – hence the “keys” of the title. His six keys are
    self-determination, direction, money, home, support and community.
    The book is rich with challenges and debates. If I had to pick out
    the most central one, it would be the emphasis on positive
    individual achievement, rather than on social movements.

    Written in a straightforward style, the book remains for the most
    part directly addressed to people with learning difficulties
    themselves. However, the format is not accessible, and I found
    myself continuously thinking of ways it could be made more useful
    for people with learning difficulties, perhaps through the use of
    audio media. As it stands, it serves an excellent purpose for
    supporters, friends and families.

    Val Williams is researcher, Norah Fry Research Centre,
    University of Bristol

    The Birth of an Adoptive, Foster or Stepmother – Beyond
    Biological Mother Attachments. 

    Three stars.

    Barbara Waterman, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, ISBN
    843197244, £15.95

    The author, who was unable to have children of her own and
    tried to adopt and then became a stepmother, is also a
    psychotherapist and social psychologist. She has written a
    well-informed and passionate book, writes Anna Kerr.

    The book draws on three main sources: the author’s own experience;
    the stories of many non-birth mothers; and over 350 texts from
    social psychology, psychoanalysis, literature and religious
    writings.

    Waterman moves (sometimes awkwardly) between sources, interspersing
    real life stories with research findings from social psychology,
    films and novels. The tone is intense and committed and likely to
    inspire and support many non-birth mothers and challenge some
    prejudices.

    This book is an interesting and rich source, marred only by the
    sometimes self-congratulatory tone of the author.

    Anna Kerr is a psychotherapist.

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