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Now browsing: Hometown News > News > Indian River County

Behind-the-scenes look at foster system
Rating: 2.92 / 5 (72 votes)  
Posted: 2012 Aug 03 - 00:58

Novel offers glimpse of case workers', children's perspectives

By Jessica Tuggle


SEBASTIAN - It started with a desire to help children and has evolved into complete novel.

As a social worker, Aimee McPartlan dedicated her life and career to assisting children in need, particularly those from abusive homes. Today, she has converted her experience as a case worker and as an adoptee herself into recently published manuscript, "Don't You Cry."

"All of us in the field say we could write a book. And I decided I would," Mrs. McPartlan said.

Mrs. McPartlan is the wife of Sebastian City Councilman Bob McPartlan and mother to five children.

"Don't You Cry" begins with the tragic tale of a young girl who dies trying to escape an abusive home to get help for herself and her brothers. The anguish and terror of the scene is vividly described by Mrs. McPartlan, as one who is familiar with terrible abusive situations.

The caseworker in the story is based on some of Mrs. McPartlan's life and is an attempt to show readers the struggles and heartbreak that can be found in the social work industry.

"The public as a whole doesn't seem to understand what goes in the different cases. Usually when you read about them in the media, it's because it's tragic," Mrs. McPartlan said.

"It's not so black and white. So much goes into the decisions with the cases," she said.

In "Don't You Cry," the caseworker is faced with trying to assist the two remaining brothers, be a functioning part of her own family, deal with past abusive experiences and stand strong against a stalker bent on revenge.

None of the elements of the story come from a singular case, but many of the circumstances in the book are inspired by actual cases, Mrs. McPartlan said.

"I wanted to create a realistic portrait of what happens behind the scenes and show just how special the people who are there, who foster and adopt abused children, just how special those people are," she said.

"Don't You Cry" is not yet available in local Indian River County bookstores, but can be found in online stores such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

"I'm just getting it out there right now. I hope to be in local stores in the future," Mrs. McPartlan said.

E-book versions of "Don't You Cry" are also available at those two online locations.

Mrs. McPartlan said while writing the book she felt increasingly thankful for her adoptive family and she spoke of the book as a small tribute to them.

An unexpected comment she received from a reader recently was both surprising and thrilling for the new author.

"I heard from someone who said after they read my book they want to become foster parents. I think that's amazing. I was really touched by that," she said.

For more information about Mrs. McPartlan's book, visit www.aimeemcpartlan.com or www.martinsisterspublishing.com.

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