1st Edition

The Lives of Foster Carers Private Sacrifices, Public Restrictions

By Linda Nutt Copyright 2006

    The Lives of Foster Carers analyzes the contradictions, conflicts, and ambiguities experienced by foster carers arising from the inter-penetrations of public bureaucracy and private family life. Topics covered include:

    • social policy pertinent to childcare
    • the history of foster care service
    • available literature on the experience of foster carers
    • public versus private domains in foster care
    • motivations and roles of foster carers
    • how foster carers perceive themselves and their foster children.

    Based on a wide range of literature and in-depth interviews with forty-six foster carers, this book provides a valuable insight into the concerns, processes and experiences of foster carers in the UK. Jargon free and accessible, it will appeal to foster carers, practitioners, students and academics in social care, youth work and childcare as well as policy makers in children’s services.

    Introduction  1. What do we know about Foster Carers? The Applied Social Research  2. Towards a Theorising of Foster Care  3. Dealing with Dilemmas: Private and Personal  4. How Foster Carers Position Themselves  5. Having a Presence Through Children  6. Conclusion  Appendix A: Pen Pictures of the Foster Carers  Appendix B: Vignettes  Bibliography


    Linda Nutt is a foster care and child care consultant.

    'For any person considering becoming a foster carer, this (book) would be invaluable as it explains how social policy has developed in relation to childcare in the UK. For practitioners and fostering trainers, this will provide real insight into why people become foster carers, the concerns they have and how to address these.'

    - Professional Social Work

    Overall, this book considers fostering from the service provider's point of view in a succinct and straightforward manner.  It would be particularly useful reading for placing social workers, specialist social workers and panel members, as well as new foster carers and the trainers of foster carers.

    Diane Radigan - Seen and Heard