Wark, Betty

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Wark grew up in succession of foster homes in northern New Zealand. In some of them she was abused racially, emotionally and sexually.

She knew her birth parents (Maori mother and white father) but had little contact with them.

At 14 she won a scholarship to a Catholic boarding school, where she was for the first time taught to value herself. Her own first two children were also brought up in foster care.

She works in Auckland, where she founded the Arohanui half-way homes, working mostly with young Maori ex-offenders and badly scarred young people.

She was awarded the Queen's Service Medal in 1986 and a Nuffield scholarship in 1988.


Misa, Tapu. "Ma Betty - the Only Mum They Knew," Mana, no. 39 (April-May 2001), p. 24-29


Polynesian, Melanesian
New Zealand
20th Century
21st Century
Social Services and Social Sciences
Adoptees/fosterees Who Are or Were Also Birth Parents
Ethnic or Religious Identity Confused or Concealed, Racism
Multiple or Unspecified
Formal, American/European-Type Fostering
Others ("Strangers")
Trans-Racial, Trans-Tribal, International or Trans-Cultural Adoption or Fostering
Disrupted or Failed Placements
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