It’s unusual to hear from those who have been in care. But it’s also incredibly insightful hearing from those who’ve been in care.
Reading Eve Higgins’ book ‘How I survived in and out of care’ is difficult. It’s hard to comprehend what care leavers have been through, and it’s hard – as an adoptive parent – to even consider what could have happened to my child, had he remained in the care system.
Eve, abandoned as a baby, and then enduring a number of foster placements before being placed in a children’s home writes about her experiences and the relationship that she developed with Ella – abused by her father, and ending up in the same children’s home as Eve.
I feel the book is stilted – as a read it doesn’t flow neatly from one section to the next, but then I imagine that moving through care is similar. There are no nice neat transitions, just the ending of one part, and on to the next. Paragraphs with little nuggets of information in.
But what this book shows is the importance of relationships – whether they are challenging, grief-filled as with Nicola, or long-lasting and strong – like that between Eve and Ella. Detailed through part of the book are the people that Eve and Ella know – the characters and friends they’ve come across both in the care system directly, and through the Adoption and Fostering in the UK forums.
The writer brings these characters to life and it’s not hart to feel connected to some of them.
The book features case studies that are well worth reading – giving a rounded explanation of a few people and their stories. And the final few pages contain poems written by Eve and Ella – which having read the book, I then found very emotional.
You can find the book on Amazon here. And check out the guest post
that Eve wrote on The Adoption Social last year.
If you were fostered or if you spent time living in a Children’s Home you need to read this book. Many books have been written and many websites have been created that discuss fostering from the perspective of the foster parent. Virtually nothing, until now, has been written from the point of view of the child.
In the book Ella and I share a wide range of survival strategies that, quite literally, can make the difference between being happy or sad or between life and death.
If you are a prospective or current foster carer you also need to read the book. Your foster children are clients of an enormously expensive system yet virtually none of the “movers and shakers” seems to have any interest in their views or experiences.
You owe it to them and to yourself to have this knowledge because as you know – knowledge is power.