As a veteran social work clinician and planner in the child welfare field, the author has seen and keenly felt the problems that befall children in the foster care system. She contends that the issues which foster children have always faced-such as separation, grief, anger, bonding, legal inconsistencies, and identity formation-are analogous to the issues faced by all children when they are separated from significant adults in their lives by death, divorce, and remarriage. This book represents an outgrowth of the author's years of practice and teaching in the traditional arena of child welfare services as well as her study, practice, and teaching of the more recent phenomenon of the step family. Containing almost 1,000 annotated references spanning a period of 20 years of professional writing, the bibliography is meant to be a resource for students and professionals in child development, foster care, adoption, divorce, and stepfamily living. Special emphasis is placed on the separation-individuation process, which is dramatically affected by actual separation, depending on the child's age and other variables.
The changing family constellation in contemporary society has increased the number of multiple parenting situations, resulting in changing roles for extended family members, community agencies, and the court system. The bibliography emphasizes the similarities of these issues faced by all children of separation, particularly as they affect ego identity.