DiscoverParenting & Families

Recycled Childhood


Must read 🏆

A review of child abuse and foster care in the USA that brings us up-to-date while highlighting flaws that need immediate intervention.

Recycled Childhood by J.C. Pater brings into the forefront something we all need to pay much more attention to — the plight of our abandoned, separated, and orphaned children, particularly those aged below five. They are vulnerable and easy prey for child traffickers and abusers who would willingly lead them down the path of destruction for their selfish gains. According to Nelson Mandela, “Children are our greatest treasure. They are our future.” I think most of us would readily agree. And if yes, what’s our response? This book brings us up-to-date on child abuse and foster care and poses these and other pertinent questions to us.


We are familiar with the many heart-wrenching issues that our abandoned, separated, and orphaned kids have to come to terms with too early in life. So I won’t elaborate. Despite the care/support presently given, these kids aren’t successful. Lacking proper education and orientation, they cannot find employment and can scarcely live normal lives when they turn into adults. Left without choice, and merely to stave off homelessness and starvation, or avoid suicide, many have to adapt to lifestyles of periodically committing minimum “crime” to live in prison, where free food and shelter are assured! In such circumstances, whatever little we provide in the form of parental care and nurture becomes vital to these struggling kids.


This short book narrates true recent stories of foster families in the USA to bring us abreast with the latest trends and issues. Many are depressing, some tragic, and some, just a handful, are success stories. The USA has a well-developed child rescue/care system to help kids in need headed by Gov Departments like the Dept of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Dept of Children and Family Services (DCFS). They are adequately staffed, and the Gov spends millions of dollars on this endeavor. However, it’s time to review the system and ask questions like “How effective are these services?”, “Are the intended benefits genuinely reaching troubled kids?”, “What problems need immediate attention?”, etc. In this book, the author does the extremely valuable task of performing a detailed review and giving us an update. Happily, she tells us that as regards foster care, excellent outcomes outweigh the bad, though some serious flaws exist that need immediate intervention.


Recycled Childhood challenges and invites all who are compassionate to help — all those whose hearts bleed for injustice and suffering in an uncaring world. You may not do much, but doing whatever you can without procrastinating is of utmost importance. If you cannot become a foster parent, you can champion causes for child protection/rescue, volunteer help, or even just report cases of child abuse you notice to Child Protection Services. I also recommend this book to members of the collaborative workforce that’s involved in child protection and welfare services — clinicians, caseworkers, psychosocial researchers, criminal justice systems, insurance companies, policymakers in Gov, etc. It will provide an update and inspire them to close gaps, plug holes, etc., and work better towards the cause of children’s welfare.


Reviewed by

An engineer and part-time IT Consultant based in Bangalore, India. Part-time copy editor/reviewer. An IEEE Senior Member. Deep thinker and innovator. Highly analytical, clear, accurate, and thorough. Nearly 40 book reviews published to date-20 on Reedsy and 20 on Online BookClub.

The Abused and the Abusers

About the author

J. C. Pater spent decades working as a journalist in the United States and Europe. In 2010, she adopted a boy who carried a baggage of over twenty foster and residential placements. J. C. is currently employed by the state government and she is a frequent speaker at state conferences. view profile

Published on March 07, 2020

Published by

40000 words

Genre: Parenting & Families

Reviewed by