WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Winner Joy launches at risk Joseph

Dermot Byrne

Family situations, which lead to a child being put in foster care, provide the background to Joy Cowley’s latest book Joseph’s Story.

Launched at the National Library by the Governor General Dame Silvia Cartwright on 22 May, Joseph’s Story highlights the emotions and worries that children experience when their family life is disrupted and they are placed in the care of strangers. The focus is on Joseph coping with emotions and feelings which he does not understand.

Adults often make important and well meaning decisions on behalf of children at risk. These decisions are usually necessary for the safety of children. But how is all of this viewed by the child? The reader sees, through Joseph’s eyes, his mother struggling with her problems and his relatives’ attempts to help until eventually he is placed with a foster family.

This is a children’s story, but one which will give adults a glimpse of the mind of a child trying to make sense of its world. Behaviour which, at first glance, may seem naughty or disruptive, will often be caused by worries or the need to be heard.

The writing is sensitive and perceptive as we would expect from an author of the stature of Joy Cowley. It is, I believe, an important contribution to a child’s understanding of an adult world. It will also help adults to understand that a child’s perspective often has a reasonable basis as well. In Joy’s own words ‘I believe that the vehicle of story empowers us all and helps us to find meaning’.

Joseph’s Story is published by The Open Home Foundation International in cooperation with the Rotary Foundation. For further information, contact ohfint@paradise.net.nz