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Nurturing Adoptions Creating Resilience after Neglect and Trauma by Deborah D. Gray

Nurturing Adoptions Creating Resilience after Neglect and Trauma

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Nurturing Adoptions Creating Resilience after Neglect and Trauma by Deborah D. Gray

Adopted children who have suffered trauma and neglect have structural brain change, as well as specific developmental and emotional needs. They need particular care to build attachment and overcome trauma.This book provides professionals with the knowledge and advice they need to help adoptive families build positive relationships and help children heal. It explains how neglect, trauma and prenatal exposure to drugs or alcohol affect brain and emotional development, and explains how to recognise these effects and attachment issues in children. It also provides ways to help children settle into new families and home and school approaches that encourage children to flourish. The book also includes practical resources such as checklists, questionnaires, assessments and tools for professionals including social workers, child welfare workers and mental health workers. This book will be an invaluable resource for professionals working with adoptive families and will support them in nurturing positive family relationships and resilient, happy children. It is ideal as a child welfare text or reference book and will also be of interest to parents.


There are lots of examples and case studies, which makes it easy to understand the concepts described. The author has the ability to bring theory and practice together in a way that is very easy to read and understand... Adoption is a lifelong process and I believe this book can be used through the lifespan of the child, as it would be a handy reference to remind adoptive parents of the challenges their child faces... This book gives a good understanding of the challenges children face when they come into the care system and when they are adopted. It also provides clear and practical guidance on how to support children to rebuild their r relationships and in the process to make them more resilient for the future. A must Read! -- Adoption Today This is a very readable, well structured and clearly written book with helpful case examples and a focus on the needs of children at different developmental stages. -- IASW - Irish Social Workers In 'Nurturing Adoptions', Deborah Gray delivers an exceptional depiction of the emotional, developmental and neurological impacts of early childhood trauma and neglect. Additionally, she highlights critical areas of assessment that social workers must consider when home studying families prior to placing children who have experienced abuse or neglect. In a field laden with a variety of controversial and coercive methods of working with children demonstrating symptoms of reactive attachment disorder, it is refreshing to see that Deborah not only discourages the early and over diagnosis of RAD, but provides lots of strategies for assessing and working with children and families that are evidence based and sensitive to the development needs of children. My hope is that this book will be read by all social workers and therapists working with foster and adoptive families. We will be making it required reading for our social work staff. Thank you, Deborah, for such a valuable contribution to this field. -- Karen Alvord, L.C.S.W., Executive Director of Lilliput Children's Services, Sacramento, California The required reading in adoption list just got longer, and shorter. 'Nurturing Adoptions
is several long

-awaited books in one: a deft overview of neglect and trauma's effects of children and families, a collection of practical pearls for adoptive parents, a best practices for child welfare professionals, and a lovely illustration for child therapists of Deborah Gray's state-of-the-art therapeutic approach. While I do enjoy traipsing around the Pacific Northwest to Deborah's fantastic trainings, it's so nice to finally have this material collected in book form, especially one so infused with hope, wry wit, empathy for all involved, and hard-earned practical wisdom. Her previous book, 'Attaching in Adoption', which has been our must-read attachment book for parents and professionals, now has a wonderful new sibling. -- Julian Davies, M.D., Co-Director of The Center for Adoption Medicine, University of Washington Deborah Gray, once again, addresses the primary issues that parents and professionals confront when they become involved with hurt children. She has something for just about everyone in the adoption world! Her detailed examination of many cogent issues will help anyone whose life is touched by children and adolescents who have lost so much prior to their adoptions and yet have so much to gain in their new families. Reading Gray's work will leave no stone unturned. -- Gregory C. Keck, Ph.D., Founder/Director of The Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio, Co-author of 'Adopting the Hurt Child

'Parenting the Hurt Child Deborah Gray thinks like a child, both imaginatively and yet very concretely. That's why 'Nurturing Adoptions'
is filled with creative ideas and practical suggestions that bring a fresh approach for traumatized children learning to love and trust in an adoptive family. I started to mark the pages of

'Nurturing Adoptions'
that contained especially useful ideas and soon found myself in a blizzard of bookmarks. Too much good stuff

! -- Mary Ann Curra , M.A., Director of Social Services at World Association for Children and Parents (WACAP), Washington State Nurturing Adoptions
is a must read for anyone providing therapeutic services to adoptive families. Deborah provides a wealth of information based on current research that enables therapists to help children and their families heal and develop positive relationships

. -- Patty Jewell, L.C.S.W., Therapeutic Foster Care and Home Run Program Supervisor, Bethany Christian Services, Indianapolis Branch At last there is a how to book for professionals working with children with the scars of abuse and neglect. Deborah Gray lays out the foundations of research in this field, explaining how and why children respond to stresses of their early lives. From these foundations she helps professionals and families to create a milieu that will build self-esteem, address trauma and grief, and work towards resiliency. Therapists with little experience in this field may not recognize the many issues that are impacting the child's behavior. Often I find that these mental health professionals are at a loss, incompletely understanding the impact of a child's early trauma on their emotional development. Here, as well, is a toolbox to help both adoption professionals who are new to adoption and those with years of experience. This book will be quoted over and over again to my patients, therapists in my community, and even in my home. I plan to have two copies - one to share with families at work, the other to refer to as a parent as I nurture my own children towards coping with their pasts. -- Deborah Borchers, M.D., Pediatrician specializing in adoption and foster care medicine, Adoptive Mom, Cincinnati, Ohio Deborah's work in 'Nurturing Adoptions
identifies the importance of considering the biological impact of trauma and neglect in children. She bridges the physiological and psychological effects of traumatic stress that can develop into lifelong emotional or attachment issues. Deborah has the unique ability to give practical context to the challenging outcomes that are reflective of stress, trauma and neglect in children. Her sensitive, insightful writing style draws the reader into her work with ease. Whether you are a parent by birth, adoption or foster care or a professional working with children you will benefit from Deborah

's expertise and dedication to families! -- Cindy Haftner, Executive Director, and Leah Deans, Resource Director, Adoption Support Centre Saskatchewan This is an essential book for professionals and parents! Deborah Gray reviews and explains valuable, current and applicable research. She then goes much further and clarifies the whys and how's . Why are we seeing children and families in such distress and how to we assist them? 'Nurturing Adoptions'
offers skill building in assessment, treating, placing, parenting, teaching and loving traumatized and neglected children. Parents and professionals will find important information about building resiliency of children, of families and of professionals. The vignettes used to describe research, techniques and strategies are so thorough and encouraging they can be visualized

.Deborah, what a gift you've given to those of us that are committed to and have claimed hurt children. Thank you for sharing you passion with this optimistic resource. As soon as it's available. 'Nurturing Adoptions
will be on my list of must haves

. -- Yolanda Comparan. M.S.W., Owner/Operator, Adoption Referral & Information Service, Mom by Adoption, Washington State Deborah's book made me sigh with relief. Finally there is a resource that lets us see the big picture. There is risk to focus only on what is diagnosed on the surface . For example, a child adopted internationally may have RAD or sensory integration disorder. Deborah enlightens us that children are not that simple. She fosters one to stop and think about the child as a whole, how the child is was wired in the womb and how the child's world to date has left an enduring impression. She blends the scientific biomedical research with hands-on easy to understand therapeutic approaches to children who have experience trauma. Both parents and professionals will find this book a blessing. -- Julie K. Keck. M.D., Neurodevelopment Paediatrician, Director of the International Adoption Clinic at Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis, Indiana

About the Author

Deborah D. Gray is the author of the bestselling book for parents, Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents and an award-winning book for professionals, Nurturing Adoptions: Creating Resilience after Neglect and Trauma. Deborah has been described as attachment guru by Adoptive Families magazine, and specializes in the attachment, grief, and trauma issues of children in her private practice, Nurturing Attachments, which is based in Kirkland, Washington, USA. Her passion is to help families develop close, satisfying relationships. A clinical social worker, she has worked over 25 years in foster and adopted children's therapies and placement. She has also been a therapeutic foster parent.Deborah is core faculty for the award-winning Post-Graduate Certificate program in Foster and Adoption Therapy at Portland State University. She is main faculty in the ATTACh-recognized Post-Graduate Attachment Therapy Certificate Program through Cascadia Training. She has taught in the Trauma Certificate Program at the University of WA and was the 2008 Henry W. Maier Practitioner in Residence at the School of Social Work at the University of WA. Deborah is a popular presenter due to her practical and positive approaches. She has keynoted conferences ranging from the Joint Council of International Children's Services to Orphan Conferences. She continues to work in a clinical practice with parents and children, who help to teach her new approaches and techniques every day. Visit her website at

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Book Info

Publication date

15th February 2012


Deborah D. Gray

More books by Deborah D. Gray
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Jessica Kingsley Publishers


512 pages


Adoption & fostering
Social work
Child & developmental psychology



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