Airdrie's Boys is a poignant story for anyone who cares about children; for families who need to know that lives can change and mend; and for all those who dedicate their professional lives to helping children ...
Ottawa, ON (PRWEB) September 18, 2012
“Airdrie’s Boys: Fostering as a Family Form” (published by iUniverse), a new book by Airdrie Thompson-Guppy, tells the story of an unconventional family reunited after nearly five decades apart.
It is a book for anyone who cares about children, revealing how youth who do not get a fair start in life can rise above their problems when they are provided with the right support system – and foster parents with necessary resources from agencies.
In the early 1960s, a group of adolescent boys in danger of falling through the cracks entered a foster-care program in Ontario under the supervision of Airdrie Thompson-Guppy, a registered social worker and clinical marriage and family therapist. Only 24 years old at the time, Thompson-Guppy founder herself running a group home of sorts in the house she shared with her husband and 1-year-old daughter.
“This is a story about five adolescent boys who were in grave difficulty,” says Thompson-Guppy, who in 1983 addressed the World Congress of Psychiatry in Vienna, Austria, on the topic of step-mothering. “Rather than put them in jail, the Children’s Aid Society created a pilot program to see if a group home would be effective.”
Thompson-Guppy ran a foster home for only 12 months, but the bonds she formed with “Airdrie’s Boys” were significant. Some of the boys stayed longer than others, while some, unfortunately, went on to a life of crime. But three of them became who they were meant to be, and returned 47 years later – following the death of Thompson-Guppy’s husband – to share the stories of their lives with their now-retired former foster mother.
About the Author
Airdrie Thompson-Guppy practiced as a social worker and a clinical marriage and family therapist for forty-five years. She was director of social work from 1974 to 1985 at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, and then director of social work at the Queensway Carleton Hospital from 1985 to 1988. She then continued her work through private practice. She is the co-author of “Stepmothers: Exploring the Myth” (1986). Now retired, Airdrie lives in Ottawa, Ontario, where she continues to learn about life through her five children and 14 grandchildren.
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