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Recommended Books for Foster Parents


Looking for books specific to foster care? Are you baffled by the system or the kids behaviors? These books help deal with everyday life & the realities of fostering kids in the system. I personally adore the Love & logic books, they really seemed to make a difference. However depending on the ages & special needs of the kids you take you may find many other helpful.

You'll find autobiographies of former foster kids, foster parents & great books to add to your toolbox!

Welcome to the Rollercoaster

This was a fantastic book! It several different perspectives at fostering and a few at adopting. The stories were real, filled with heartache and happiness, frustration with the system and hope for changes. There wasn't a single story that I didn't love and want to know more about. My favorite was Beautiful Transformations. I wish this foster parent would write an entire book on her experiences with medically fragile infants. This was a quick and easy read. It fanned the flame of desire in me to foster children and excites me greatly. I hope they write another book!

Faith & Foster Care: How We Impact God's Kingdom

Highly recommend this book for all foster parents and perspective foster parents. Anyone involved in the system knows it can be challenging, and filled with emotional ups and downs. This book reminded me why I started this journey in the first place. Dr. DeGarmo gives a biblical and honest perspective, and speaks from the heart from his years of experience as a foster parent. Yes, even with all of their experience, he and his wife still have days when they feel tired and burnt out. I loved the real-life stories from foster parents and especially the powerful stories of former foster youth.

Another Place at the Table

I love this book! I have purchased it four separate times already. Every time I meet someone interested in fostering I give my copy to them and have to rebuy it. I've read and reread it many times! Such an inspirational read for any foster parent or hopeful foster parents.

This book is great for a view of how the system works, what will really happen with the kids & real life experiences. The writer has been a foster parent over 13 years & has seen more than her share of issues.

The Explosive Child

Your not alone, the fits, the rage & the never ending arguments. There is help, this book is amazing, it not only helps explain the why's but puts practical tools in place to help you cope, help & deal with the little rager in your life.

I read The Explosive Child after reading The Defiant Child (and attending a Douglas Riley-esque parenting class). The problem with the premise in The Defiant Child, and in most of the negative reviews on this book, is that there are many adults who cling obstinately to the belief that these children are capable of doing better than they are, and if the adult can just make said child's life difficult enough, he/she will shape up.

The problem with that line of thinking, and the subsequent "strategies" it produces, is that no matter how much I punish a child, if he/she is incapable of doing better, the issues we face will persist. It is akin to punishing a child who needs glasses for not being able to see. A much better solution all around would be to get him/her glasses.

My daughter, in the Riley worldview, would be "punishing me" or "controlling" and "manipulating." What I saw was a little girl who was so very overwhelmed by various aspects of her environment, that she had no adaptations, no ability to cope. I can't imagine what it must be like to live in a world where the way your plate is turned at dinner, or which direction your socks are facing, is so overwhelming a proposition that you lose the ability to function and/or think rationally. That's the little girl I was living with. The little girl who could blow up over the most incomprehensible thing, and for whom most of life's daily situations and frustrations were just more than she could bear.

Parenting the Hurt Child - Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow

Parenting the Hurt Child

Parenting the Hurt Child

Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow

This book is worth reading a few times & adding bookmarks! With 3 teens in the house it's advice is crucial to understanding what they have been thru & why they think like they do. It's an amazing book.

This book was extremely helpful. I changed many of my parenting practices after reading it and our home is so much happier now. I think anyone considering adoption or hoping to be foster parents should read this book. It would make a very nice gift. I plan to read it several more times as my children grow. I recommend family and friends who want to best support adoptive/foster parents read this too.


Love & Logic Series

These books are helpful for any kids not just foster children. I have all the ones listed below & have referenced them many times when I felt lost.

To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care

In my opinion, one of the best books that uncovers the complicated and dysfunctional US foster care system and how it affects the children and families in it. Such an important read for anyone who wants to have both an intimate and over-arching understanding of the foster care system.

Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew

Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew

Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew

Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew

Thinking of adopting? This book is a great read while you are waiting to meet your kiddo. It brings it down to their level & points out what may not be obvious when you are in the process.

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I LOVE this book!!! As a parent of an adopted child I always wanted him to embrace the fact that he was adopted. This book was very eye opening as to the feelings and insights of children who are adopted. The topics discussed in the book have long been discussed between my son and I. It is a wonderful conversation starter. I was not aware of all the issues an adopted child CAN experience. This book really brought some of the issues to the forefront and allowed my son and I to have a completely open conversation about what he is feeling.

Books on Dealing with Behavior Problems

The Lost Boy: A Foster Child's Search for the Love of a Family

A very captivating look at how a child perceived the foster care system & the challenges he faced by just being a "foster child". This one is a must read for prospective foster parents, the story is heart wrenching but the outcome is amazing.

A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive

This book is not for the squeamish, it's a graphic tale of an abused child in his own words. I would recommend it to anyone looking into foster care simply because it gives you the perspective of what the child may have gone through. Just make sure you have a box of tissues handy.

One Small Boat

The Story of a Little Girl, Lost Then Found

A very touching story about a 5 year old in foster care with a past of sexual abuse & how she grows & copes. Written by the foster parent that helped her & witnessed her struggles.

Hey there!

Sarah on August 27, 2018:

Facilitating Developmental Attachment: The Road to Emotional Recovery and Behavioral Change in Foster and Adopted Children by Daniel Hughes

And definitely anything by Dr. Bruce Perry!

Virginia on April 04, 2017:

I would add Three Little Words and Three More Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter!

Kimberly Schimmel from Greensboro, NC on April 23, 2013:

What a resource! Thanks for collecting this info in one convenient place.

Samantha Lynn (author) from Missouri on August 07, 2012:

@anonymous: Thanks!

anonymous on August 07, 2012:

A new one is The Foster Parenting Toolbox edited by Kim Hansel find it here on Amazon

howtobeafosterparent on January 12, 2012:

Great Lens!. I will definitely re-visit when I can review all the books.My and I foster 6 children and we're always looking for books to help improve our family.

anonymous on December 06, 2011:

@anonymous: Thankyou for that I am half way through the process and do hope I qualify to be a Foster Parent who can care for these children that need a good nurturing home to be in, I hope to change a life as you say you have done so many times so good to hear there are wonderful caring people out there.......I have lots of books for the knowledge but like you say this is a hands on job as my Childminding was.... Look forward to it.....

anonymous on December 06, 2011:

I've read several of these books but the best teacher is experience. I've been a foster parent for 15 years. I think I've seen it all until the next child comes with new surprises. You can not believe some of the lives these poor kids have led and the horrors they've been exposed to - their disclosures are raw and shocking. For you folks thinking about becoming foster parents - don't wait! There is a great need for good people who want to make this world a better place for a child in need. You can change a life - and it will definitely change yours!

JillY88 on November 27, 2011:

It has always amazed me how children can be put into such terrible foster homes where foster parents treat them so badly, I want to save them all. I think about being a foster parent a lot and I read a lot of books about raising children. Some of these books look very good. Thanks for a very informative lens.

anonymous on November 07, 2011:

I am looking to be a Foster Carer and would love more knowledge and help about the process so I am well prepared, any info or people out there??????Any good books to read to help me?

Ann Hinds from So Cal on February 13, 2011:

Great resources. Angel blessed.

anonymous on December 06, 2010:

My name is april, I was in foster care for two years... There was a book that I read that really stuck with me. It was about a girl and her brother and they were placed in a home where the house mother treated them horibly drink hot sauce when they got in trouble and didnt get to eat things like that... I would love to get it but I cant seem to remember the name of the book :( I can picture the cover and what it looks like and have searched for it and nothing if you can help me it would mean so much! is my email

Bambi Watson on October 24, 2009:


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