Boy at Risk



Prather, Linda

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This thesis is about my relationship with my foster son, which began years before he came to live under my roof through my friendship with his mother. “Boy at Risk” is a highly personal account of my brief foster parenting experience. It is a story that would no doubt be told very differently by the boy I fostered and by his mom. I could not write this memoir without including my impressions of the Fairfax County child welfare system and the people who tried to help this family. In “Boy at Risk,” there are no heroes, villains or easy answers to the problems of child abuse and neglect. Instead, there is my chronicle of my ever-changing feelings about this boy and his mother. Although the story is true, the names of everyone, except my husband and son and me, have been changed.


This thesis has been embargoed for 5 years and will not be available until April 2021.


Guardians, Foster children, Children, Welfare, Abuse