A Safe Place for Rufus by Jill Seeney and Rachel Fuller

This colourful picture book for young children, aged 4-8 years old, explores the importance of feeling safe and banishing fears, particularly for adopted and fostered children.

Rufus the cat lives with a family who looks after him, feeds him his favourite foods and gives him lots of cuddles. He feels happy and safe, especially when he is lying on his favourite blue cushion.

But he didn’t always feel this way. The family that Rufus used to live with were not kind to him at all. Thinking about his past makes him angry and sad and Rufus struggles to escape from his memories and find a safe place where he can just relax and be himself.

Change and transition, such as moving house, starting a new school or perhaps even leaving home, can cause confusion and uncertainty for very young children. If they have to move from one family to another, the change is often too big for them to full comprehend in advance; no matter how thorough the preparation, the child still has to take a very big leap into the dark. It takes time for children to trust enough to feel safe. Like Rufus, they have to discover a way to banish their fears, and like Rufus, they can be helped by finding a “safe place” of their own.

Accompanied by comprehensive guidelines containing useful suggestions for questions and activities to encourage children to think about their own behaviour; talk about their own fears and bad memories; and identify their own safe places.

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