To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness.
Review this product
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
1.0 out of 5 starsSensationalistic
Reviewed in the United States on January 15, 2018
My 1 star rating might be unfair because I couldn’t read to the end, and I will potentially come back to edit if I ever find the patience to reach the end, but for now I’m sticking by it. I have worked in child welfare for years as a foster parent recruiter and as an employment specialist for 16-23 year olds in care in Florida. My husband and I hope to foster soon and in the meantime have served as respite caregivers. I could not read this after the author referred to our kids as “orphans.” NO ONE calls children in foster care, even those waiting to be adopted, “orphans” except for the church (which I do have a problem with and have worked with local churches to address). Also, I am a certified case manager and have never been told “when in doubt, yank ‘em out.” I feel like this book is sensationalistic. I realize it’s based in NYC, which is very different from Florida, but if you want an accurate view of what it’s like to be a foster parent I would highly recommend “Another Seat at the Table.”
5.0 out of 5 starsIncredible book.. Change must come.
Reviewed in the United States on April 6, 2017
As a former foster kid, I relate to so many aspects of this book. If you are serious about change in this system, you have to read this. No one has documented the struggle of foster kids like this book has. I could hardly put it down after reading the first paragraph.. Highlighted the entire thing. Our foster system is incredibly broken.. and perhaps even more tragic than the system itself is where it leaves us after we turn 18. I was put into foster care after several years of kinship care at the age of 17. My CPS worker told me the odds of me finding a permanent home was low because of my age. She was right. I hardly found a foster home at all. I was held in a mental hospital for a month and a half while I waited for someone to claim me. A mental hospital because they had no where else to hold me.. and 3 foster homes later I was put into an RTC - Not because I was a trouble kid, but because no one wanted me. I turned 18 with no one to turn to. I still can't drive and I have been in and out of homeless & DV shelters for several months. I have nowhere to go. So not only does the foster care system desperately need reform, but the aftercare system as well. I know far too many people with stories similar to mine. When will this change?
I had a lot of hopes for this book upon first opening the pages. It seemed at first, unlike many books on foster care, to be balanced and focused on finding the problems, bottlenecks, and paradoxes haunting care.
However, as the pages turned, it quickly fell short. A lot of the figures are inaccurate by omission. For example, the one regarding adoptions gives the impression that the rest of the children that are not adopted simply languish, but many children are closed within permanent guardianship or kinship permanent custody. This is not touched upon when talking about the statistics of kids in care, and it makes up a large percentage of the numbers.
There are a lot of holes in explanations and things missed. The stories are fun, but the facts and clear bias are misleading. There are a lot of subjective opinions from the author. It is also inaccurate regarding the history of child abuse in the United States, which was disheartening and made me question the other information.
It is also very important to note how different the NYC system is from the rest of the country. As one of the most unique and packed cities in the world, the foster system here is nearly incomparable to ones in other parts of the country, although of course, there are some universal parallels. The author does note this, but it is something a reader really should understand.
I much prefer Three Little Words and Three More Words. This is told from the perspective of a foster child-turned foster parent/advocate as she makes her way through the system.
UPDATE: There is one aspect I do like. The author does an excellent job addressing the problems of teen placements and aging out of care. The stories are very interesting. I give a star for this.
4.0 out of 5 starsAnecdotal insights shed light on foster care from the inside of the system
Reviewed in the United States on December 31, 2013
This collection of biographical stories observed from parents and kids in the foster care system is a quick read that provides a lot of insights into how even well-intentioned foster parents can fail and how even kids who want to be adopted and integrate into a loving family struggle to realize their dream. The book also provides some insight into how the juvenile justice system dovetails with foster care. I recommend this book to anyone interested in some "on the ground" portraits of the flaws in foster care. The book falls short in offering the same concrete portrait of what it looks like when things go right or how suggested repairs would look in the real world. Instead, it may unintentionally leave people interested in becoming foster parents torn between recognizing the great need the system has for capable, loving foster parents while at the same time feeling like these kids are too often a lost cause. The major success story in the book focuses on adults who live in a foster care lstyle group home, which left me feeling like it is only in adulthood, after the natural turbulence of teenage rebellion has passed, that foster kids or former foster kids have a chance of healing.
4.0 out of 5 starsEye-opening, heartbreaking, and hopeful
Reviewed in the United States on January 9, 2019
While I found it difficult to keep track of the individual children in this five year narrative of foster care, Ms. Beam gives an in-depth view of the foster care system, its successes and, more often, its victims. As a CASA volunteer (Court Appointed Special Advocate) working with foster children, I was draw to this book. I highly recommend this book.
5.0 out of 5 starsProvides great macro view through one family’s journey
Reviewed in the United States on July 8, 2019
Beam did an incredible job of illustrating the macro and micro systems through a personal lens with the example of one family. Incorporates history without being dry, and illustrates the disparate points of view individuals can have who are touched by the system. A wonderful introduction to the foster care system in NYC or a deep dive for those already familiar.