Dr. Arlene Bowers Andrews, community psychologist and Professor of Social Work at the University of South Carolina, has extensive experience in community-based practice and research, program evaluation, and services systems for families affected by turbulence. At USC she was a founder and former director of the Institute for Families in Society, an interdisciplinary research center that conducts research to enhance families through community partnerships. Prior to her academic career, she was the founding executive director of Sistercare, a multi-county system of services to families affected by intimate partner violence, founding executive director of Prevent Child Abuse-South Carolina, and a board member of multiple community and regional organizations, including the Southern Regional Council. She served for eight years on the South Carolina Joint Legislative Committee on Children and families and is an active volunteer in faith-based youth development work. She has been an expert witness on matters of family history and human behavior in federal and several state courts.
Dr. Andrews is co-editor of The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: Implementing the Right to an Adequate Standard of Living (Praeger, 1999), co-author with Elizabeth Beck and Sarah Escholz of In the Shadow of Death: Families of Loved Ones Who Face the Death Penalty (Oxford University Press, 2006), and the author of Victimization and Survivor Services (Springer, 1992), Send Me! The Story of Salkehatchie Summer Service (Providence Publishing House, 2006), and several articles and book chapters regarding violence prevention and community systems development.
Dr. Andrews is a graduate of Duke University and the University of South Carolina.
From the age of 3, Vanessa lived in daily terror of her mother's unpredictable rage. If she was 'naughty', her mother would lash out at her – with beatings, torture, starvation and making Vanessa sleep in their garden's pigsty, tied up like an animal. Her mother said her punishments were God's revenge on her for being the devil's child. Her father lived in denial of her suffering.
When she was 6 years old, Vanessa's grandfather began to sexually abuse her – to her despair, aided and abetted by both her mother and grandmother. At eight years old, she then discovered that the 'mother' who hated her so much had adopted her as a baby and would never love her as her own.
At the most horrific times of Vanessa's abuse, she nearly lost all hope that she would escape her prison, until mysterious things started to happen to her that allowed her to fight back.
This is the story of how Vanessa survived a childhood that nearly destroyed her and how her secret led her out of the horrors of her past.
Phoebe, an autistic nine-year-old girl, is taken into police protection after a chance comment to one of her teachers alerts the authorities that all might not be what it seems in her comfortable, middle-class home. Experienced foster carer Rosie accepts the youngster as an emergency placement knowing that her autism will represent a challenge – not only for her but also for the rest of the family.
But after several shocking incidents of self-harming, Pica and threats to kill, it soon becomes apparent that Phoebe’s autism may be the least of her problems.
Locked for nine years in a secret world of severe abuse, as Phoebe opens up about her horrific past, her foster carer begins to suspect that Phoebe may not be suffering from autism at all.
Cruel To Be Kind is the true story of Max, aged 6. He is fostered by Cathy while his mother is in hospital with complications from type 2 diabetes. Fostering Max gets off to a bad start when his mother, Caz, complains and threatens Cathy even before Max has moved in. Cathy and her family are shocked when they first meet Max. But his social worker isn’t the only one in denial; his whole family are too.