Suggested Reading List

The Arms Wide Adoption Services team got together to offer our families a comprehensive list of suggested reading materials. We hope these books will help guide you through your foster care, adoption, and parenting journeys.

Adoption and Foster Care

A Child’s Journey Through Placement by Vera Fahlberg, MD
  • “Children who are cared for in an out of home placement are in need of support and stability. This classic text offers information and advice for professionals and carers on how to help these children, who will often have attachment difficulties.”
Adopting the Older Child by Claudia L. Jewett
  • “Hundreds of thousands of children in this country are without permanent homes right now, waiting in foster homes and institutions for families who could adopt them. Here, in “a book that workers and parents have been waiting for,” nationally know family counselor and adoptive parent Claudia Jewett explains just what is in store for those who decide to open their hearts to a waiting child.”
Adopting the Hurt Child: Hope for Families with Special-Needs Kids – A Guide for Parents and Professionals by Gregory Keck, Regina Kupecky
  • “The world is full of hurting kids who suffer from emotional trauma caused by someone they should have been able to trust. It’s a pain that lasts into adulthood if not healed and resolved. It is the new face of adoption. In this revised and updated guide to healing the emotional trauma of the adopted child, authors Gregory C. Keck and Regina M. Kupecky provide a clear picture of what it’s like to hurt and what it means to heal. Through advice, tips, and success stories of those who have been there, you’ll find valuable insight and hope. It’s never too late for healing.”
Helping Children Cope with Separation and Loss by Claudia Jewett Jarratt
  • “Through years of work with hundreds of bereaved children, child and family therapist Claudia Jewett has developed the simple techniques described here – techniques that any adult can use to help children through their grief. From the agonizing moment when an adult must tell a child what has happened, through the shock and denial, then anger and depression, that follow. Jewett describes each stage of mourning and the behavior that can be expected of grieving children. Using case histories and sample dialogues, she explains how to help children come to a timely resolution of their grief.”
Wounded Children, Healing Homes: How Traumatized Children Impact Adoptive and Foster Families by Jayne Schooler, Betsy Keefer Smalley, Timothy Callahan
  • “Why don’t our children return our love? What are we not understanding? What are we failing to do? These questions can trouble adoptive parents caring for wounded, traumatized children. Families often enter into the adoption experience with high expectations for their children and themselves but are quick to discover that these hopes are not realistic. This book addresses the reality of those unmet expectations and offers validation and solutions for the challenges that arise when parenting deeply traumatized or emotionally disturbed children.”


Attachment-Focused Parenting by Daniel Hughes
  •  A guide for all parents and a resource for all mental health clinicians and parent-educators who are searching for ways to effectively love, discipline, and communicate with children, this book presents the techniques and practices that are fundamental to optimal child development and family functioning―how to set limits, provide guidance, and manage the responsibilities and difficulties of daily life, while at the same time communicating safety, fun, joy, and love. Filled with valuable clinical vignettes and sample dialogues, Hughes shows how attachment-focused research can guide all those who care for children in their efforts to better raise them.
Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today’s Parents by Deborah D. Gray
  • This classic text provides practical parenting strategies designed to enhance children’s happiness and emotional health. It explains what attachment is, how grief and trauma can affect children’s emotional development, and how to improve attachment, respect, cooperation and trust. Parenting techniques are matched to children’s emotional needs and stages. Checklists are included to help parents assess how their child is doing at each developmental stage. The book covers a wide range of issues including international adoption, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and learning disabilities. It combines sound theory and direct advice with case examples throughout.
Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control: A Love-Based Approach to Helping Attachment-Challenged Children With Severe Behaviors by Heather T. Forbes
  • Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control covers in detail the effects of trauma on the body-mind and how trauma alters children’s behavioral responses.
Fostering Changes Treating Attachment-Disordered Foster Children by Richard Delaney, PhD
  • Optimistic, yet realistic, guidelines for intervention with disturbed foster children. This book outlines a hopeful course of treatment for “Fostering Changes.”


Parenting From The Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive by Dr. Daniel Siegel and Mary Hartzell
  • In this bestselling classic, child psychiatrist and coauthor of The Whole-Brain Child, Daniel J. Siegel and early childhood expert Mary Hartzell explore the extent to which our childhood experiences shape the way we parent. Illuminating important research in the field of interpersonal neurobiology, Siegel and Hartzell explain how the parent-child relationship directly affects brain development. They offer parents a step-by-step approach to forming a deeper understanding of their own life stories to help them raise compassionate and resilient children.
The Connected Child by Dr. Karyn Purvis
  • The adoption of a child is always a joyous moment in the life of a family. Some adoptions, though, present unique challenges. Welcoming these children into your family–and addressing their special needs–requires care, consideration, and compassion.
The Out-of-Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz
  • The groundbreaking book that explains Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), and presents a drug-free approach that offers hope for parents.

For an even more comprehensive guide, please visit our friends at A Family For Every Child.