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Academic Articles

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From Hagiography to Personal Pain: Stories of Australian foster care from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century

Dee Michell


Stories - fictional, biographical, and autobiographical - are one way in which we can imagine what it has been like to experience foster care in Australia. In this paper Dee Michell looks at the trends in stories told about foster care from the nineteenth century, across the twentieth, and into the early twenty-first century. While exploring these trends, Michell makes some observations about the shift from fictional accounts where foster parents and foster children were heroic characters to often searing tales of hurt and trauma inflicted on children in foster care by violent women and men.

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