Dennis and the Big Decisions (2-5 years)
This brightly illustrated picture book explains to young children who are living in foster care about why they have moved from their family, why they may have future moves, and who will make these decisions. It is the sequel to the ever-popular Dennis Duckling (BAAF 2009).
The story follows Dennis, living in foster care, as important decisions are made about where he should live and who with. It looks at the range of adults who are involved in decision making, including social workers, foster carers, judges and birth parents, and emphasises how they all want to make the right choice for Dennis.
The story can help children who have to be separated from their birth parents to understand what is happening to them and why, what the future may hold, and how they can be involved in making big decisions no matter how old or young they are.
It clearly explains that children are not responsible for making decisions, or resolving the difficulties that surround them, but that their wishes and feelings are vitally important and will be listened to.
Dennis Duckling and the Big Decisions does not have a set ending. It is left to the child and reader to imagine what happens next, hopefully reflecting the plan for the individual child. The story can be revisited and expanded many times as plans progress and decisions about the child s future become clearer.