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Surviving the System cover

  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-914359-3
    • 5.5 x 8.5 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 162 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-914360-9
    • 5.5 x 8.5 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 162 pages
  • Keywords
    • foster care,
    • foster care memoir,
    • abuse in foster care,
    • 1960s foster care,
    • child abuse in foster care,
    • Canada foster care,
    • New Brunswick foster care

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Surviving the System
Nine Siblings tell their Stories in Foster Care
by Doreen Frenette

Surviving the System: Nine Siblings Tell Their Foster Care Stories is an important and necessary memoir that leads the reader through the harrowing—and often horrific—experiences of these siblings who were removed from their home in northern New Brunswick in the 1960s. The children were separated, spread out across the province, and left in the hands of adults who frequently turned out to be monsters. Coming from a poor, abusive household, the siblings had few positive past experiences to guide them through the traumas they suffered in the homes of those who were supposed to protect them. Overseen by an incompetent and often neglectful social worker, little of the atrocities they experienced was properly documented or preserved, and few records of what the children suffered remain. Despite the trauma, the siblings managed to stay in each other’s lives, and still lean on each other today for support and comfort. This book serves as an act of bravery and a powerful truth-telling; it lays bare what the foster care system that so failed this family tried to cover up. It is truly a story of survival.

Doreen Frenette photo

Doreen Frenette has always been known as the “secretary” of her family. When her siblings decided that they wanted to write down their stories, she stepped in. They shared with her their trauma, pain, and hurt to reveal the truth of their experiences in foster care with the world. Doreen is an avid reader who enjoys puzzles, playing ukulele, and singing with her family. She has three grown children and lives with her husband of forty-seven years in a small town in northern New Brunswick.


Doreen Frenette

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