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`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...
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."
Fourteen-year-old Adrianna arrives on Casey's doorstep with no possessions, no English, and no explanation. It will be a few weeks before Casey starts getting the shocking answers to her questions....Brought to Casey as a short-term emergency placement, fourteen-year-old Adrianna arrives with nothing but her gratitude. Having `turned herself in' to a social services office some hundred miles away, she has no possessions, no English and, apparently, no history - not that she's willing to share, anyway. She is a beautiful young Polish girl, with the bearing of a ballerina, but is terrified, malnourished and unwell. And, having slept rough for some time (the little they do know about her) she spends much of her first days with Watsons asleep in bed.Growing concerned about Adrianna's wellbeing, and her persistent high temperature, Casey decides to call in the GP. But, to her surprise, Adrianna becomes almost hysterical about being examined and, given her refusal to talk - even via the interpreter they've brought in for her - Casey's fostering antennae begin twitching. Where has she come from? And why is she so terrified to be touched? What has happened to make her so ill and scared?It will be a few weeks before Casey starts getting answers to these questions. Shocking answers; ones that throw up a whole host of new questions and the beginnings of a journey to find justice for Adrianna, and, more importantly, a future, and a home...
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.
An inspiring true story of the tumultuous nine years Ashley
Rhodes-Courter spent in the foster care system, and how she
triumphed over painful memories and real-life horrors to ultimately
find her own voice.
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.
As an adoptee, do you have mixed feelings about your adoption? If you do, you are not alone - adoptees often experience complex feelings of grief, anger, and questions about their identity. Sherrie Eldridge is an adoptee and adoption expert, and in this book she draws on her personal experiences and feelings relating to adoption as well as interviews with over 70 adoptees. Sherrie reveals how you can discover your own unique life purpose and worth, and sets out 20 life-transforming choices which you have the power to make. The choices will help you discover answers about issues such as: Why do I feel guilty when I think about my birth parents? Why can't I talk about the painful aspects of adoption? Where can I gain an unshakable sense of self-esteem? Sherrie also addresses the problem of depression among adoptees and common dilemmas such as if, when and how to contact a birth mother or father. This fully updated second edition includes new material on finding support online, contacting family through social media, and features three new chapters, including Sherrie's story of reuniting with her birth brother, Jon, in adulthood.
Ray Guarendi, psychologist, husband and father of ten adopted children, considers the most commonly asked adoption questions with insight, humor and a heart for the adoptive family. His aim? To dispel unsettling misperceptions about adoption, to encourage others to think about and act on adoption, and to guide adoptive parents to a more relaxed, rewarding family life for all involved. A must-have resource for those considering adoption, those who have already adopted and those in the mix as family members or friends of adoptive parents.
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?"
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."
Across Europe young people in public care are around five times less likely to attend tertiary education than those who have not been in care. This book provides a comprehensive account of why this shocking discrepancy exists and outlines ways to address the imbalance. Drawing extensively on new original research, the book examines the participation of young people in care in further and higher education. It provides a historical and legislative overview of the topic and in-depth national case studies look at the situation in England compared with Denmark, Sweden, Spain and Hungary. The authors set out clearly what we can learn from these comparisons and how to create more equal opportunities for children and young people in care today. This important book will be essential reading for those dedicated to removing barriers to accessing to further and higher education, including FE and HE lecturers, student support staff, social workers, policymakers and researchers working across fields of education, sociology, psychology, social work and social policy.
"Every child's way of being can open doors to wisdom, compassion, and human connection. We need only to listen."This is among the conclusions that the authors, one of whom is an experienced foster parent and the other a professor of developmental psychology, draw as a result of working with a diverse range of children and families. Inspired by their relationships with families in crisis, the authors began to rethink the traditional foster care models and developed an innovative practice that afforded birth parents the opportunity to reside, under supervision, with their children during evaluation and treatment. Drawing on over 20 years of work in foster care, along with current attachment research and theory, this book conveys the foster care experience with recommendations for improved models of care and intervention strategies.Engaging case studies depict the challenging nature of determining the best outcome for a child and of supporting the adult's journey as a parent. Written in a narrative style and supported by in-depth research, this book will aid social workers and foster care professionals to better understand families in crisis and to further develop their practice.
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?
Life story work is an approach designed to enable traumatized children to explore, question and understand the past events of their lives. It aims to secure their future by strengthening attachment with their carers and providing the opportunity to develop a healthy sense of self and a feeling of wellbeing.This new edited volume documents innovative ways in which life story work has been developed. It draws on the work of nine life story centres based around the world and provides understanding and guidance for those working with children who have experienced trauma. The book illustrates current theory and practice and looks at how the approach is being used in a variety of settings including schools, intensive services, youth justice, and post-adoption support, highlighting its versatility. The importance of trauma-informed practice when working with vulnerable children is emphasised throughout, to help practitioners provide the best for the children in their care.
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."
From the Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author comes the poignant and shocking memoir of Cathy s recent relationship with Tayo, a young boy she fosters whose good behaviour and polite manners hide a terrible past.
Tayo arrives at Cathy s with only the clothes he stands up in. He has been brought to her by the police, but he is calm, polite, and very well spoken, and not at all like the children she normally fosters. The social worker gives Cathy the forms which should contain Tayo s history, but apart from his name and age, it is blank. Tayo has no past.
Tayo is an 'invisible' child, kidnapped from his loving father in Nigeria and brought illegally to the UK by his drink and drugs dependent prostitute mother, where he is put to work in a sweat shop in Central London. When he sustains an injury and is no longer earning, he is cast out.
When Cathy takes Tayo to school he points out a dozen different addresses where he has stayed in the last six months, often being left alone. Tayo lies, and manipulates situations to his own advantage and Cathy has to be continually on guard. Tayo s social worker searches all computer databases but there is no record of Tayo he has only attended school for 3 terms and has never seen a doctor. He and his mother have been evading the authorities by living underground .
With his mother recently released from prison, Tayo is desperate to live with his father in Nigeria, but no one can track him down or even prove that he exists."
The second book from Sunday Times bestselling author Casey Watson.
Two weeks after saying farewell to her first foster child, Casey is asked to look after Sophia, a troubled 12-year-old with a sad past. Sophia s actions are disturbing and provocative and, before long, Casey and her family find themselves in a dark and dangerous situation.
Two years ago Sophia s mother had a terrible accident. Sophia has been in care ever since.
Right away, Casey feels something isn t right. Sophia s a well-developed girl, who looks more like 18 than 12. She only seems to have eyes and ears for men, and treats all women with contempt and disgust. And she has everyone around her jumping through hoops.
Over time, as more details begin to emerge about Sophia s past, it becomes clear that her behaviour is a front for an early life filled with pain and suffering. But although Casey feels she is gradually breaking through to Sophia and getting her to open up about things she has never spoken about before, her violence is threatening the safety of the whole family, forcing Casey to question whether she can really handle this lost and damaged girl.
Both shocking and inspiring, this true story will shed new light on the extreme and sometimes dangerous nature of foster care."
Children who have experienced trauma, loss or separation early in life need more than just special care and attention; they need to be parented with love and security in a way that allows them to heal and rebuild emotional bonds. This comprehensive book provides parents and carers with crucial advice and guidance on how to strengthen attachment and trust.Based on Dan Hughes' proven 'PACE' model of therapeutic parenting, this book explains how to implement PACE techniques to overcome the challenges faced by children who struggle to connect emotionally. Barriers to stable relationships such as a lack of trust, fear of emotional intimacy, and high levels of shame are all explained. It explores techniques to overcome these barriers by teaching how to support the child's behaviour at the same time as building empathy and trust.The practical parenting guidance offered throughout is essential for carers or parents of troubled children, and will help build safe, secure emotional relationships.
Casey's Unit is, as ever, full of troubled, disaffected pupils, and new arrival Leo is something of a conundrum.Thirteen year old Leo isn't a bad lad - in fact, he's generally polite and helpful, but he's in danger of permanent exclusion for repeatedly absconding and unauthorised absences. Despite letters being sent home regularly, his mother never turns up for any appointments, and when the school calls home she always seems to have an excuse.Though Casey has her hands full, she offers to intervene for a while, to try get Leo engaged in learning again and remaining in school. The head's sceptical though and warns her that this is Leo's very last chance. But Casey's determined, because there's something about Leo that makes her want to fight his corner, and get to the bottom of whatever it is that compels this enigmatic boy to keep running away. With Leo so resolutely tight-lipped and secretive, Casey knows that if she's going to keep this child in education, she's going to have to get to the bottom of it herself...
It's no secret that tens of thousands of Chinese children have been adopted by American parents and that Western aid organizations have invested in helping orphans in China-but why have Chinese authorities allowed this exchange, and what does it reveal about processes of globalization? Countries that allow their vulnerable children to be cared for by outsiders are typically viewed as weaker global players. However, Leslie K. Wang argues that China has turned this notion on its head by outsourcing the care of its unwanted children to attract foreign resources and secure closer ties with Western nations. She demonstrates the two main ways that this "outsourced intimacy" operates as an ongoing transnational exchange: first, through the exportation of mostly healthy girls into Western homes via adoption, and second, through the subsequent importation of first-world actors, resources, and practices into orphanages to care for the mostly special needs youth left behind. Outsourced Children reveals the different care standards offered in Chinese state-run orphanages that were aided by Western humanitarian organizations. Wang explains how such transnational partnerships place marginalized children squarely at the intersection of public and private spheres, state and civil society, and local and global agendas. While Western societies view childhood as an innocent time, unaffected by politics, this book explores how children both symbolize and influence national futures.
The Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author of Damaged tells the true story of Donna, who came into foster care aged ten, having been abused, victimised and rejected by her family.
Donna had been in foster care with her two young brothers for three weeks when she is abruptly moved to Cathy s. When Donna arrives she is silent, withdrawn and walks with her shoulders hunched forward and her head down. Donna is clearly a very haunted child and refuses to interact with Cathy s children Adrian and Paula.
After patience and encouragement from Cathy, Donna slowly starts to talk and tells Cathy that she blames herself for her and her brothers being placed in care. The social services were aware that Donna and her brothers had been neglected by their alcoholic mother, but no one realised the extent of the abuse they were forced to suffer. The truth of the physical torment she was put through slowly emerges, and as Donna grows to trust Cathy she tells her how her mother used to make her wash herself with wire wool so that she could get rid of her skin colour as her mother was so ashamed that Donna was mixed race.
The psychological wounds caused by the bullying she received also start to resurface when Donna starts reenacting the ways she was treated at home by hitting and bullying Paula, so much so that Cathy can t let Donna out of her sight.
As the pressure begins to mount on Cathy to help this child, things start to get worse and Donna begins behaving in erratic ways, trashing her bedroom and being regularly abusive towards Cathy s children. Cathy begins to wonder if she can find a way to help this child or if Donna s scars run too deep."
What should you expect when you're expecting to foster? This book is a guide to taking the first critical steps of your fostering journey, explaining what fostering is, how to become a foster carer and what it takes to thrive. Combining invaluable advice from veteran foster carers, the expertise of the professionals who support them, and priceless experiences of foster children themselves, this book explains the fostering process step by step. It tackles all the questions that you've ever asked yourself about fostering: What is fostering really like? What are the challenges? What kind of difference could I make? Comprehensive and accessible, this is the companion for first-time fosterers or those considering foster care.
Cathy Glass, international bestselling author, tells the shocking story of Zeena, a young Asian girl desperate to escape from her family.When 14 -year-old Zeena begs to be taken into care with a non-Asian family, she is clearly petrified. But of what?Placed in the home of experienced foster carer Cathy and her family, Zeena gradually settles into her new life, but misses her little brothers and sisters terribly. Prevented from having any contact with them by her family who insist she has brought shame and dishonour on the whole community, Zeena tries to see them at school. But when her father and uncle find out, they bundle her into a car and threaten to set fire to her if she makes anymore trouble. Zeena is too frightened to press charges against them despite being offered police protection in a safe house.Eventually, Cathy discovers the devastating truth from Zeena, and with devastation she believes there is little she can do to help her.
The first in a series of books from foster carer Casey Watson.
We re hungry, his brother cried. We re hungry, Justin. Please find us some food.
Justin was five years old; his brothers two and three. Their mother, a heroin addict, had left them alone again. Later that day, after trying to burn down the family home, Justin was taken into care.
Justin was taken into care at the age of five after deliberately burning down his family home. Six years on, after 20 failed placements, Justin arrives at Casey s home. Casey and her husband Mike are specialist foster carers. They practice a new style of foster care that focuses on modifying the behaviour of profoundly damaged children. They are Justin s last hope, and it quickly becomes clear that they are facing a big challenge.
Try as they might to make him welcome, he seems determined to strip his life of all the comforts they bring him, violently lashing out at schoolmates and family and throwing any affection they offer him back in their faces. After a childhood filled with hurt and rejection, Justin simply doesn t want to know. But, as it soon emerges, this is only the tip of a chilling iceberg.
A visit to Justin s mother on Boxing Day reveals that there are some very dark underlying problems that Justin has never spoken about. As the full picture becomes clearer, and the horrific truth of Justin s early life is revealed, Casey and her family finally start to understand the pain he has suffered "
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