From Publishers Weekly
Afounder of the Shared Abundance Foundation (which gives scholarship aid to orphanage alums), Carr believes orphanages have a bad reputation because our 19th-century institutions were so cruel. She argues that, if policymakers would only visit America's modern residential education facilities (or REFs, as orphanages are now called), they might be more supportive, or at least not so biased in favor of foster care. As Carr sees it, most states pass legislation favoring foster care because they believe they are offering homeless children the next best thing to the nuclear family, unaware that good foster families may be scarce. REFs, on the other hand, specialize in offering children the therapy and support they need after a lifetime of abuse and neglect. In her opening chapter, Carr introduces herself as a divorced mother with a troubled son, before segueing into a brief history of American orphanages. In subsequent chapters she visits a handful of REFs to admire their successes, which she interweaves with accounts of her own son's deepening problems. In fact, the last REF she visits, the Mercy Home in Chicago, becomes her son's home when she can no longer parent him herself. More inspirational than informative, Carr's book should touch hearts and open discussions. (Aug.)
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"Martha Randolph Carr captures the story of a mother's journey to save herself and her son by letting go and finding miracles in America's orphanages. Children's homes are a success story that have been hidden away for too long and Carr's message is inspirational for us all."
Founder of Lillian Vernon Corporation
"Carr's book should touch hearts and open minds." —Publishers Weekly