Reviews and Comments

on The Growth of Love


There are enormous riches of insight in White’s writing: the strength in humility and vulnerability; the value of other cultures; the yardstick of humour and creativity to measure the return of psychological and spiritual health; and most importantly, the truly life-giving value of love, both given and received. Every page of this book is worth reading: you will nod in recognition, or hold your breath in revelation.”
Sir Richard Bowlby, Foreword

“The Growth of Love is at the centre of what childcare needs to be about. It sets out what Keith regards as the core of all commitment to children – security, boundaries, significance, community and creativity. By blending a lifetime of personal insight into the lives of distressed children and their families, with a deep understanding of childcare literature and a profound personal faith, Keith takes the reader through a voyage of discovery of all of these five words in a way that students and experienced practitioners will find extremely thought-provoking and enriching.”
Dr Chris Hanvey, Childrenwebmag

“At a time when solutions to manage troubled children and teenagers vacillate between liberal and punitive extremes, this book challenges contemporary views of childcare to provide a secure framework for enabling children to develop their full potential as people made in God’s image. Dr White draws on a lifetime’s experience of working alongside children and young people who have known separation and loss. He applies expertise in theology and psychosocial theory, underpinned by biblical understanding and living faith, to develop five essential elements of development…The children’s stories make this enjoyable as well as informative. Despite being erudite and far-reaching, this book is very readable. All involved in parenting, teaching or pastoral care of children within and outside the Christian community will gain new insights from it.”
Kirsty Saunders, Community paediatrician, in CMF Triple Helix Easter 2009

“I hope that The Growth of Love gets people talking again about the importance of the belief base of our work. People have been happy to talk about practice, about the procedures which underlie practice, about the policies on which the procedures are based, and about the professional principles underpinning the policies, but not about the fundamental beliefs which provide the very foundations for the principles. If the book gets us all talking about these foundations and recognising their importance to the work, it could prove to be really important… It is a remarkable piece of work, covering a wide range of disciplines…I hope the book will have a major impact on the way people understand the development of children.”
David Lane, CCCF Annual Conference 2008

“Thank you for your incredible book…it made a huge impact on me. Since then I have shared it and the thoughts from it with many, many. I am a teacher of music and my church is the Salvation Army in Croydon. Your book has impacted my teaching in schools and most of all the ministry at the church known as Babysong, where I am involved…Reading your book made everything about Babysong fall into place , it was like finding the heartbeat of the work…Your book gave me the most beautiful context to this work, as if the penny dropped and my understanding from God himself, through you, deepened.
Elisabet Lyne, Salvation Army

“His style of writing reflects the personal nature of his story and journey and delightfully draws on his vast store of poetry, sociology, anthropology and historical knowledge as well as child development and some Biblical insights… The strength of the book lies in its multitude of real life examples of children’s lives from Mill Grove, White’s own life experiences and various international projects, showing the reader how White’s ideas and praxis can find synergy and where theory meets discontinuity.”
Dr Jo-Joy Wright, ChildrenWebmag

“The Growth of Love, was so amazing to read. I read it before we did our first parenting course. Was so inspiring, and so encouraging as every page I was nodding and agreeing with the author… after most people in India telling us daily the opposite it was very reassuring to read and agree with the book!
GP, India

“Keith’s book has clearly been of great encouragement at a key time! The doctors are in a situation where so much that is fundamental to their understanding of the needs and care of children is seen as very odd – even by the Christians with whom they are working. They are seeking to train the helpers to look after the orphans in ways which reflect God’s love – an uphill struggle, so every bit of encouragement is extremely welcome.”
GP, Sri Lanka

“The foreword being written by the great Sir Richard Bowlby immediately indicates that this is a book that students connecting child care and theology will want to read. However, White himself downplays his academic contribution on the basis that it is the reflections of a practitioner rather than a substantial research project. Over a hundred years of the White family’s lives have been spent in community with damaged children at Mill Grove, the home at the centre of the book. Therefore White has both depth and humanity to offer the reader in this exploration of child development, not a process to be copied but rather a way of life that allows love to grow.”
Naomi Nixon, GoodBookStall Review

Reviews and Comments on Reflections on Living with Children

Reviews“Keith White’s recent book, Reflections on Living with Children: A Companion to the Growth of Love paints a picture of the ground that nurtured his earlier book, The Growth of Love: Understanding Five Essential Elements of Child Development. Taken together, the two books set out what Keith has learned about what matters in living with children. They are full of stories of children and adults, of the events that shape their lives, and lead to an analysis of how to create the space in which children may be held and healed. The books are inspirational; they are challenging of conventional wisdom and practice; they offer hope. I recommend them unreservedly. There are two key dimensions: the first is the setting out of his growing understanding of what is important in living and working with children; secondly there are lovely, often moving, accounts of what children say or of episodes in their lives.”
Roger Clough, Professor Emeritus of Social Care, Lancaster University