Book Review: Wounded Children, Healing Homes: How Traumatized Children Impact Adoptive and Foster Families


            Though the most recent copy of this book is nearly ten years old, the advice within it remain helpful throughout time. The book as a whole is broken down into five parts, and each part contains at least three chapters that address sub-topics within the theme for that part. Encouraging families to consider adoption is not the main purpose of the book, but rather to educate prospective parents on the process and the difficulties that may entail, and to encourage families who have adoptive that they are not alone in their struggles and that there are services available to them.

            A positive aspect of this book is that it is very honest in the difficulties that are present when adopting children who have experienced trauma. There is no “if” difficulties arise, but more of a “when” attitude because all children transitioning from one home to another is facing trauma to some extent. The authors greatly seek to, and quite successfully, normalize the struggles that adoptive families experience. Furthermore, many examples are used that do not result in happy endings because the authors intend to be realistic.

            In addition to normalizing struggles, these pages are loaded with strategies for parents to manage certain behaviors that the child is manifesting as a result of the trauma. Yet, this book does not promote a “one-size-fits-all” approach, but rather encourages parents to be flexible in their approach and seek to understand their child’s trauma above all else. Using extensive research on the subject and addressing the findings of many psychologist and academics, the authors explain the motivations for the children’s misbehavior. If the motivation can be understood by the parent and other caregivers involved, then better strategies can develop to assist that child in coping and healing.

            This book does excellent to address the ways that families can overcome difficulties that are not limited just to parent-child relationships. Advice on how to work with social workers, teachers, therapists, extended family and any other personal that will be a part of the child’s life is offered as well. Resources for services are offered in every chapter and even listed as a directory in the Appendix section.

            At times, it often reads like a textbook, yet if you begin to read with the attitude of student of traumatic psychology with a heart for opening your own home one day to needy children, it will yield a positive return.


If you are interested in purchasing this book, here is a quick link to it on Amazon.

Schooler, S., Smalley, B. K., & Callahan, T. (2009) Wounded Children, Healing Homes: How Traumatized Children Impact Adoptive and Foster Families. NavPress Publishing Group: United States of Amerca.