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The true story of 2 year-old Anna, abandoned by her natural parents, left alone in a neglected orphanage. Elaine and Ian had travelled half way round the world to adopt little Anna. She couldn't have been more wanted, loved and cherished. So why was she now in foster care and living with me? It didn't make sense. Until I learned what had happened. ... Dressed only in nappies and ragged T-shirts the children were incarcerated in their cots. Their large eyes stared out blankly from emaciated faces. Some were obviously disabled, others not, but all were badly undernourished. Flies circled around the broken ceiling fans and buzzed against the grids covering the windows. The only toys were a few balls and a handful of building bricks, but no child played with them. The silence was deafening and unnatural. Not one of the thirty or so infants cried, let alone spoke.
Nine-year-old Archie and his five-year-old sister, Bobbi, are taken into emergency police protective custody after an incident of domestic violence at their family home. Rosie collects the children from their out-of-hours foster carer on New Year's Day and instantly recognises Archie from a domestic violence workshop she helped with. Rosie remembers that when asked what he enjoyed most about the course, Archie said: `the biscuits'. Social workers are concerned that Archie and Bobbi have been neglected. As Rosie gets to know the children, she begins to suspect that something far more disturbing lies in their past. Archie, jovial and polite, bats away Rosie's attempts to talk to him about anything serious with witty one-liners and sophisticated distractions. Bobbi reacts violently, lashing out and throwing herself around. Rosie has never seen a child as young a Bobbi behaving so viciously, but it is Archie she is most concerned about as the weeks go by. After a worrying incident at school, Archie tearfully discloses the truth - a shocking secret that has left him and his sister traumatised. Horrified at what she learns, Rosie is determined to help the young siblings find a forever-home that will provide them with the love and care they deserve.
Zara H. Phillips seemed to live a charmed life - backing singer to the stars with an incredible career here and across the Atlantic - but her smile masked a difficult childhood and the reality that she was adopted as a baby in the 60s. Her life soon spiralled and as a teenager she suffered from drug and alcohol addiction, as she struggled to find her birth parents and her true identity. Somebody's Daughter is a fascinating and revealing account of how a beautiful woman's life has been dominated by her adoption and how it has affected her and those around her. Hard-hitting and emotional, Zara's memoir explores the needs of adopted children, with her characteristic warmth and wit, and the true journey it takes to find where you belong.
The heartbreaking true story of a young, troubled mother who needed help. The sixteenth fostering memoir by Cathy Glass. It is the first time Laura has been out since the birth of her baby when Cathy sees her in the school playground. A joyful occasion but Cathy has the feeling something is wrong. By the time she discovers what it is, it is too late. This is the true story of Laura whose life touches Cathy's in a way she could never have foreseen. It is also the true stories of little Darrel, Samson and Hayley who she fosters when their parents need help. Some stories can have a happy ending and others cannot, but as a foster carer Cathy can only do her best.
Aged nine Joss came home from school to discover her father's suicide. She's never gotten over it. This is the true story of Joss, 13 who is angry and out of control. At the age of nine, Joss finds her father's dead body. He has committed suicide. Then her mother remarries and Joss bitterly resents her step-father who abuses her mentally and physically. Cathy takes Joss under her wing but will she ever be able to get through to the warm-hearted girl she sees glimpses of underneath the vehement outbreaks of anger that dominate the house, and will Cathy be able to build up Joss's trust so she can learn the full truth of the terrible situation?
At eleven o' clock one night in 1997, four hungry, damaged young children arrive on foster carers Trisha and Mike Merry's doorstep. Two social workers dropped them off with nothing but the ragged clothes they were wearing and no information. The children were covered in bruises, two had black eyes, one had a broken arm and they were all scratching themselves. Starved, seriously neglected and abused in every way, four young siblings have been repeatedly overlooked by everyone who should have cared. The eldest scavenges for food by night and is exhausted from trying to protect his sisters, his baby brother and himself from serious parental neglect and the perilous attentions of frequent paedophile visitors. From the start, these four children challenge Trisha and Mike to extremes. Despite all their experience over many years, they wonder if they have met their match. Yet, from that very first night, this couple's unbounded love and care and their unbelievable determination surmount all the obstacles that follow. The shocking truth about the children's home lives is beyond anything Trish and Mike have experienced, yet through their formidable efforts, their unshakeable belief in the children, and their (almost) unfailing sense of humour, they are able to turn around four young lives from tragedy to hope.
A heartbreaking and inspiring collection of true fostering stories perfect for fans of Cathy Glass and Rosie Lewis. Contains previously published stories Too Scared To Cry, The Girl No One Wanted and A Family For Christmas - brought together in this heartwarming and inspiring collection for the first time. ***** Maggie Hartley is one of the UK's most prolific foster mothers. This inspiring collection includes three heartbreaking, true short stories about the children who have passed through Maggie's care. TOO SCARED TO CRY When Ben and Damien arrive on Maggie's doorstep, the two toddlers are too scared to speak. More disturbingly still, their baby half-brother Noah is completely unresponsive - he doesn't smile or play or crawl. The three siblings have been conditioned to be seen and not heard, and it's up to Maggie to unpick what has caused this terrible void. THE GIRL NO ONE WANTED Eleven-year-old Leanne is out of control. With over forty placements in her short life, no local foster carers are willing to take in this angry and damaged little girl. Maggie is Leanne's only hope, and her last chance. If this placement fails, Leanne will be put in a secure unit. Where most others would simply walk away, Maggie refuses to give up on the little girl who's never known love. A FAMILY FOR CHRISTMAS A tragic accident leaves the life of toddler Edward changed forever and his family wracked with guilt. Maggie must help this family grieve for the son they've lost and learn to love the little boy he is now. But will Edward have a family to go home to at Christmas? These heartwarming and inspiring short stories show the power of a foster mother's love, and her determination to help the children who come into her care. Note: These stories have previously been published as individual ebooks. True stories of foster care and adoption and one foster mother's attempts to help the children in her care heal from abuse, neglect and trauma.
When Reece arrives at Cathy's door aged 7 years old, he has already passed through the hands of four different carers in four weeks. As the details of his short life emerge, it becomes clear that to help him, Cathy will face her biggest challenge yet.
The latest title from the author of Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller Damaged.
Reece is the last of six siblings to be fostered. Having been in care for four months his aggressive and disruptive behaviour has seen him passed from carer to carer. Although only 7, he has been excluded from school, and bites people so often that his mother calls him 'Sharky'.
Cathy wants to find the answers for Reece s distressing behaviour, but he has been sworn to secrecy by his mother, and will not tell them anything. As the social worker prepares for the final hearing, he finds five different files on Reece s family, and is incredulous that he had not been removed from them as a baby. When the darkest of family secrets is revealed to Cathy, Reece s behaviour suddenly starts to make sense, and together they can begin to rebuild his life."
The fourth in a series of true short stories from foster carer Mia Marconi. Kira first came to foster carer Mia Marconi's home on respite care when she was three. She had suffered an unimaginable amount of abuse in her short life. Although she couldn't tie her shoe laces, she could smash a room to pieces; she fought against everything like a wild cat. At the age of five Kira moved permanently to live with Mia and her family, but by the time she was nine years old the whole family was at breaking point. Mia is the kind of person who won't give in and believes she can always change things for the better, but try as she might she can't change Kira. So after six years, with a very heavy heart, she is forced to question whether she can really help this lost and damaged child. Raw, shocking and honest, this short story will shed new light on the role of foster carers, revealing the kind of heartbreaking real life situations carers like Mia Marconi are confronted with every day.
A dramatic debut short story from London-based foster carer Mia Marconi. An incredible chain of events that began in Italy during WWII with an illegitimate pregnancy shaped Mia's destiny. The illegitimate child was her father, a lost soul who she idolised. Protecting him instilled in her an instinct to care for the vulnerable and, after a chance meeting with a chaotic foster family, she decided fostering was her vocation. In an incredible twist of fate, the first baby she fostered was born to an unmarried Italian girl. Then came Hope, so badly damaged by her teenage mother's alcoholism she was in hospital for a year. Finally discharged and settled in Mia's happy home, what happened next would make Mia question if she could carry on. www.harpertrue.co.uk
In her new book, Cathy Glass, the no.1 bestselling author of Damaged, tells the story of the Alice, a young and vulnerable girl who is desperate to return home to her mother.
Alice, aged four, is snatched by her mother the day she is due to arrive at Cathy's house. Drug-dependent and mentally ill, but desperate to keep hold of her daughter, Alice's mother snatches her from her parents' house and disappears.
Cathy spends three anxious days worrying about her whereabouts before Alice is found safe, but traumatised. Alice is like a little doll, so young and vulnerable, and she immediately finds her place in the heart of Cathy's family. She talks openly about her mummy, who she dearly loves, and how happy she was living with her maternal grandparents before she was put into care. Alice has clearly been very well looked after and Cathy can't understand why she couldn't stay with her grandparents.
It emerges that Alice's grandparents are considered too old (they are in their early sixties) and that the plan is that Alice will stay with Cathy for a month before moving to live with her father and his new wife. The grandparents are distraught Alice has never known her father, and her grandparents claim he is a violent drug dealer.
Desperate to help Alice find the happy home she deserves, Cathy's parenting skills are tested in many new ways. Finally questions are asked about Alice's father suitability, and his true colours begin to emerge."
Can I Let You Go? is the true story of Faye, a wonderful young woman who may never be able to parent her unborn child.Faye is 24, pregnant, and has learning difficulties as a result of her mother's alcoholism. Faye is gentle, childlike and vulnerable, and normally lives with her grandparents, both of whom have mobility problems. Cathy and her children welcome Faye into their home and hearts. The care plan is for Faye to stay with Cathy until after the birth when she will return home and the baby will go for adoption. Given that Faye never goes out alone it is something of a mystery how she ever became pregnant and Faye says it's a secret.To begin with Faye won't acknowledge she is pregnant or talk about the changes in her body as she worries it will upset her grandparents, but after her social worker assures her she can talk to Cathy she opens up. However, this leads to Faye realizing just how much she will lose and she changes her mind and says she wants to keep her baby.Is it possible Faye could learn enough to parent her child? Cathy believes it is, and Faye's social worker is obliged to give Faye the chance.
What could cause a mother to believe that giving away her newborn baby is her only option? Cathy Glass is about to find out. From author of Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller Damaged comes a harrowing and moving memoir about tiny Harrison, left in Cathy s care, and the potentially fatal family secret of his beginnings.
When Cathy is first asked to foster one-day old Harrison her only concern is if she will remember how to look after a baby. But upon collecting Harrison from the hospital, Cathy realises she has more to worry than she thought when she discovers that his background is shrouded in secrecy.
She isn t told why Harrison is in foster care and his social worker says only a few are aware of his very existence, and if his whereabouts became known his life, and that of his parents, could be in danger. Cathy tries to put her worries aside as she looks after Harrison, a beautiful baby, who is alert and engaging. Cathy and her children quickly bond with Harrison although they know that, inevitably, he will eventually be adopted.
But when a woman Cathy doesn t know starts appearing in the street outside her house acting suspiciously, Cathy fears for her own family s safety and demands some answers from Harrison s social worker. The social worker tells Cathy a little but what she says is very disturbing . How is this woman connected to Harrison and can she answer the questions that will affect Harrison s whole life?"
In the much-anticipated follow-up to Sunday Times bestseller Trapped, foster carer Rosie Lewis tells the heartbreaking true story of 13-year-old Zadie. When the young teenage girl runs away from home and is discovered hiding on the city streets by the police, it is clear that all is not as it should be. Taught to believe that Westerners should not be trusted, when Zadie is initially delivered into the experienced hands of foster carer Rosie she is polite and well-behaved, but understandably suspicious of the family around her. Through Rosie's support and understanding, gradually Zadie begins to settle into her new surroundings, but loyalty to her relatives, and fear of bringing shame on those around her, prevents her from confessing the horrifying truth about her troubled past. When the shocking truth finally emerges, Rosie and her family can hardly believe that Zadie had managed to keep the shocking secrets to herself for so long.
Bestselling author and teacher Casey Watson shares the horrifying true story of Kiera Bentley, a 12-year-old girl with a deeply shocking secret she's too young to even understand.When Casey first meets Kiera, a small slight girl who's just lashed out at a fellow pupil in assembly, she immediately senses something's wrong. Something in Kiera's eyes alerts Casey that this is an "old head on young shoulders", and with Kiera's constant tiredness and self-soothing habit of pulling her hair out, she follows her instinct and takes Kiera under her wing.At first the answer seems simple enough; Kiera's parents aren't together and they don't get on, which makes life hard for Kiera as she's so close to her dad. But as the weeks roll on, Casey begins to understand that there's something much darker going on behind closed doors. And when she finally learns the truth, she's terrified she won't be able to save Kiera from it.
In her latest paperback, the Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author of Damaged tells the story of the Dawn, a sweet and seemingly well-balanced girl whose outward appearance masks a traumatic childhood of suffering at the hands of the very people who should have cared for her.
Dawn was the first girl Cathy Glass ever fostered. Sweet and seemingly well balanced girl, Dawn s outward appearance masked a traumatic childhood so awful, that even she could not remember it.
During the first night, Cathy awoke to see Dawn looming above Cathy s baby s cot, her eyes staring and blank. She sleepwalks which Cathy learns is often a manifestation in disturbed children. It becomes a regular and frightening occurrence, and Cathy is horrified to find Dawn lighting a match whilst mumbling it s not my fault in her sleep one night.
Cathy discovers Dawn is playing truant from school, and struggling to make friends. More worryingly she finds her room empty one night, and her pillow covered in blood. Dawn has been self-harming in order to release the pain of her past.
When Dawn attempts suicide, Cathy realises that she needs more help than she can give. Dawn s mother eventually confides in her that Dawn was sent away to live with relatives in Ireland between the ages of 5 and 9, and Cathy soon realises that the horrors Dawn was exposed to during this time have left her a very disturbed little girl."
The Children Money Can Buy covers decades of dramatic societal change in foster care and adoption, including the pendulum swings regarding open adoption and attitudes toward birth parents, the gradual acceptance of gay and lesbian adoption, the proliferation of unregulated adoption facilitators in the U.S., ethical concerns related to international adoption, and the role money inevitably plays in the foster care and adoption systems. Special attention is given to the practice of "baby brokering" and the accompanying exorbitant finder's fees and financial incentives encouraging birth mothers to relinquish (or pretend that they are planning to relinquish) their babies that permeate much of U.S. infant adoption today. The Children Money Can Buy illuminates the worlds of foster care and adoption through the personal stories Moody witnessed and experienced in her many years working in the foster care and adoption systems. These compelling stories about real people and situations illustrate larger life lessons about the way our society values--and fails to value--parents and children. They explore the root of ethical problems which are not only financially driven but reflect society's basic belief that some children are more valuable than others. Finally, Moody makes a plea for change and gives suggestions about how the foster care and adoption systems could work together for the benefit of children and families.
This book provides tips for social workers and carers to look after cared-for children at school.
A new memoir from Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author Cathy Glass.
Eight-year-old Aimee was on the child protection register at birth. Her five older siblings were taken into care many years ago. So no one can understand why she was left at home to suffer for so long. It seems Aimee was forgotten.
The social services are looking for a very experienced foster carer to look after Aimee and, when she reads the referral, Cathy understands why. Despite her reservations, Cathy agrees to Aimee on there is something about her that reminds Cathy of Jodie (the subject of Damaged and the most disturbed child Cathy has cared for), and reading the report instantly tugs at her heart strings.
When she arrives, Aimee is angry. And she has every right to be. She has spent the first eight years of her life living with her drug-dependent mother in a flat that the social worker described as not fit for human habitation . Aimee is so grateful as she snuggles into her bed at Cathy s house on the first night that it brings Cathy to tears.
Aimee s aggressive mother is constantly causing trouble at contact, and makes sweeping allegations against Cathy and her family in front of her daughter as well. It is a trying time for Cathy, and it makes it difficult for Aimee to settle. But as Aimee begins to trust Cathy, she starts to open up. And the more Cathy learns about Aimee s life before she came into care, the more horrified she becomes.
It s clear that Aimee should have been rescued much sooner and as her journey seems to be coming to a happy end, Cathy can t help but reflect on all the other forgotten children that are still suffering "
`I'm so sorry, Casey,' my link worker John said, sounding weary. `I know this is probably the worst time I could ring you, but we desperately need someone to take a child tonight.' It's the night before Christmas when Casey and Mike get the call. A twelve year old girl, stuck between a rock and a hard place. Her father is on a ventilator, fighting for his life, while her mother is currently on remand in prison. Despite claiming she attacked him in self-defence, she's been charged with his attempted murder. The girl is called Bella, and she's refusing to say anything. The trouble is that she is also the only witness...
The Sunday Times and New York Times Bestseller. Although Jodie is only eight years old, she is violent, aggressive, and has already been through numerous foster families. Her last hope is Cathy Glass
Cathy, an experienced foster carer, is pressured into taking Jodie as a new placement. Jodie's challenging behaviour has seen off five carers in four months but Cathy decides to take her on to protect her from being placed in an institution.
Jodie arrives, and her first act is to soil herself, and then wipe it on her face, grinning wickedly. Jodie meets Cathy's teenage children, and greets them with a sharp kick to the shins. That night, Cathy finds Jodie covered in blood, having cut her own wrist, and smeared the blood over her face.
As Jodie begins to trust Cathy her behaviour improves. Over time, with childish honesty, she reveals details of her abuse at the hands of her parents and others. It becomes clear that Jodie's parents were involved in a sickening paedophile ring, with neighbours and Social Services not seeing what should have been obvious signs.
It s clear that Josie needs psychiatric therapy, but instead Social Services take Jodie away from her, and place her in a residential unit. Although the paedophile ring is investigated and brought to justice, Jodie s future is still up in the air. Cathy promises that she will stand by her no matter what her love for the abandoned Jodie is unbreakable."
One hot summer's afternoon, two abandoned infants are brought to Trisha and Mike Merry's door, forlorn and afraid. Their mother walked out on them. (They don't remember her.) Their grandmother tried, but couldn't manage them. And now their young father has given up on them too. These cast-off kids desperately need somewhere to live and a family to love them. They've come to the right place. Trisha and Mike welcome them into their home and their hearts. There are now ten children under five in this household, where every day is filled with cuddles, fun . . . and more than a few challenges. After ten eventful years of love and laughter, they are reclaimed by their jealous mother, a stranger, who sets fire to their memories and sends them to a succession of care homes. Finally the younger one sets out on a quest to find the only two people who have ever loved him.
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