A truly original story of life in and after care. The author’s own account of being left behind by her mother as a one year old and her life in foster homes and institutions. When eventually traced, ‘Call Me Auntie’ was the best her mother could offer, but this was just the start of a bizarre sequence of events.
Call Me Auntie is a telling account of abandonment, ‘Heartbreak House’ care homes, family history and survival. It is also one of resilience and personal achievement as the author discovered she also had a brother left behind in the same way, forged a professional career, searched for her long lost relatives in Barbados and eventually came to understand that she ‘may be a princess after all’.
Call Me Auntie is a story of survival, resilience and changing attitudes to racism and ethnicity as the author forged a successful career beginning as a Woolworth’s shop girl before joining the police, then moving into social work.
‘Anne’s story is a compelling account, not just of her search for her birth mother but of her extraordinary journey from being a child in care, then qualifying as a social worker and finally becoming a magistrate… I read it at a sitting and could not put it down. Her account of life in a children’s home in the 1960s and 1970s deserves to find a place on every social work training course’— Retired Judge Robert Zara.
‘This is an excellent read for anyone who has compassion. The author had a really tough childhood brought up by the care system. She raises really important questions. A must-read for anyone who wants to make a difference for children and their lives. Make it compulsory for all social work students’— John Bolton, Visiting Professor, Institute of Public Care, Oxford Brookes University, and a former Director of Social Services.
‘Our new house-parents were Harold and Dora… He was a big guy who always looked angry. She was a little mousy figure but with a steel will underneath… Overnight, the household regime changed. As controlled as our lives might have been in the [previous houseparents’] time, the changes were shocking. Chores had to be performed to much higher standards, and there were new ones… There were new rules, routines, and responsibilities. But this was not all. With the new chores and new rules, our fear set in.’
Anne Harrison was brought up in care. She was a shop assistant before she joined the Warwickshire Police. From there she became a residential social worker and social care manager for local authorities in the West Midlands and Warwickshire. She lives with her husband in Coventry. Follow Anne on Instagram: @anne.e.harrison.