Keys to Citizenship: A Guide to Getting Good Support
Services for People with Learning Difficulties. Four
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.
Barbara Waterman, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, ISBN
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
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
This book is an interesting and rich source, marred only by the
sometimes self-congratulatory tone of the author.
Anna Kerr is a psychotherapist.