The time adopted children spend in foster care is an important part of their history. It’s often a traumatic and difficult time as they may have moved there from an unsafe home with their birth family.

Foster carers open their homes and hearts to children who have experienced early life trauma. They provide them with a stable, loving environment until the court decides where their next home will be. Some children stay with their foster carers for a few months. Some for a few years. Others are looked after by several different carers as a result of a number of placement moves.

Whatever a child’s memory of that time, it’s important they understand the role of foster carers, and why they lived with them.

When we started talking to our eldest daughter about her foster carers, she struggled to understand why she lived there. I would’ve loved to have a book to use as a tool to explain their role.

Room in the Nest

So, I was delighted when Holly Marlow asked me to review her latest book “Room in the Nest: A Foster Care Story”. It’s the first book I’ve come across that focuses primarily on foster carers and their important role in the care system.

The book is beautifully illustrated by Holly’s sister, Suzy Garland.

We were kindly gifted an electronic copy of the book so we could review it.

Book review: Room in the Nest
Room in the Nest

The story is about Mr. and Mrs. Swan. They create lots of space in their home to help anyone who needs them. They are asked to look after some animals for short periods of time, others stay for much longer.

The book looks at the role of the foster carers. It highlights that they are often in children’s lives for a short period of time. But however short the period of time is, they love the children they care for and find it hard to see them move on.

“Room in the Nest” also looks at some of the reasons why children need to stay with foster carers. Some need to stay for a short period of time to let their parents sort out their home. Others stay for longer periods and then go and live with another family member.

For many children, staying with foster carers is the stepping stone between leaving their birth family’s care, and moving in with their new adoptive family. “Room in the Nest” covers this well.

Life story work

When I read the book with our eldest, we talked about the different reasons why children live with foster carers. It then led to a lot of questions from her about her time with her foster carers. Both our children started their lives with the same foster family, something which we will be eternally grateful for.

The dedication for the book sums up exactly how I feel about our girl’s foster family. Words will never be enough to thank them for keeping our girls safe and loved until we were ready to meet them.

“Room in the Nest” is a great tool to use for life story work to start discussions about foster carers. It’s also a great book for all children to read, to help them understand why some children need to stay with foster carers sometimes for a short period of time, sometimes for much longer.

You can find out all about Holly from her website. Our reviews of her previous books are in the book review section of the magazine.

“Room in the Nest: A Foster Care Story” is available to buy in Waterstones and Amazon.

Book review: Room in the Nest
Room in the Nest

Please note that this review includes affiliate links for the book. That means if you click on the one of the links in the article to the book, and then buy it, I get paid a fee from Waterstones and Amazon.


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