Letters to the Editor Dear Sir,

I have read with interest the article


"hipps, in your Summer number. I would Paragraph which dealt with foster parents.

Adoption by Miss Penelope





comment to


It is essential to differentiate clearly between the foster-parent who will cases only, and the long-term foster-mother. The specifically ?hort-stay foster-mother is rare; in fact a great deal of short-term fostering undertaken by women who would prefer a long-term plan. The differentiation of motives suggested by Miss Phipps should, I think, properly De to and short-term

accept short-stay



adoptive parents foster-parents. The distinction between the adoptive parent and the long-term fosterParent is by no means so clear-cut. Most of the latter are people for whom is less attractive than adoption, but it is the only possible arrangement postering *or one of two reasons. Firstly, relatively few children are available for adoption. Every children's officer has frequently to persuade potential adopters to accept a long-term fostering plan because he has no suitable child for them to adopt. Secondly, to adopt a child is to assume the whole urden of his support; there are many would-be adopters who must c?mpromise in order to gain the financial aid of a boarding-out allowance. It is of very great importance that these aspects of foster-care should be aPpreciated by those who have to deal with the mental health of deprived children. It happens with regrettable frequency that in planning therapy ?r a disturbed child far too little effort is made to plan with the fosterthrough the mistaken assumption that her function is less vital mother, than that of a real or adoptive parent. Yours


College of the South West, Exeter.




Letters to the Editor.

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