In today’s world, more children are being raised outside of their
biological family than ever before. The “blended family,” the
“substitute parent,” and relative care are now the norm, not the
Among the toughest roles in the world is serving as a substitute
parent—whether for a foster child, a step-child, your own grandchildren,
or any other child who needs you. And, it can be among the most
rewarding things you will ever do.
Like with any other parenting role, there is no instruction book that
comes with the child. These children, often through no fault of their
own, are hurting—from neglect, from abuse, from a sense of loss; the
list can be complex and endless. At the stage in their lives when you
step in to help, they are screaming butterflies—beautiful on the outside
but hurting on the inside.
With almost forty years of experience working with children from all
walks of life, Gary Barnett has shared his experiences and the lessons
he has learned along the way—from the first belligerent child he
encountered on his first day in his first job as a children’s advocate,
through the years of highs and lows as he has worked diligently to help
these beautiful screaming butterflies.
This book will help you decide if you are right for this challenging
role, how to handle the first days as a substitute parent, how to deal
with attitude and behavior challenges, how to communicate so the child
understands, how to effectively use discipline, and many other
challenges you will encounter as a substitute parent.
Thanks for taking on this very important substitute parent role. Hopefully this book will help you along your journey.