Global Perspectives on Foster Family Care

Global Perspectives on Foster Family Care
Edited by Matthew Colton and Margaret Williams, Russell House Publishing
ISBN 1903855888,


The title intrigued me and looking at the 10 nations selected for inclusion I wondered whether the issues affecting foster care in the UK would be universal, writes Kevin Williams.

The answer was yes and no. Yes, in that it was possible to pick out common themes: payment, recruitment and retention, role of birth families, and kinship care to mention a few. No, in that each country’s services developed through different historical political and social routes leading to attempts at different solutions.

The standard format was useful in trying to make comparison and the sections on politics and ideology of each country gave a useful social commentary in which to place the history and current provision of foster care in that country. The editors’ Overview and Commentary pulled the different countries together and succinctly looked at the similarities and differences of each country.

For those like me grappling to think about the future ideology and structure of foster care in the UK, it was a useful reminder that we are not isolated and others are also considering the same issues.

A useful read that took me out of my own comfort zone and helped me consider the wider issues of foster care around the world. Of course, it left me with even more questions!

Kevin Williams is chief executive, The Adolescent and Children’s Trust (Tact)


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