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'I was made in Coffee Bay. Right there on the beach, in the sand.'
From the opening lines, we are drawn in and engrossed by this startling memoir of a singular childhood. Suzan is adopted as a newborn in the late 1960s into a seemingly loving and welcoming family living in Pietermaritzburg. But Suzan is set on a collision course with, most particularly, her adoptive mother, and society, from her very beginning. Suzan's relationship with her mother is fraught with drama, which veers over into a level of emotional abuse and needless cruelty that is shocking.
At the age of thirteen, Suzan is sent to a place of safety as a ward of the state, effectively 'orphaning' her. From there, she spirals out of control – fighting to survive in a world of other neglected, abandoned and abused children. She becomes a 'runner', escaping at every opportunity from her various places of confinement, grabbing her schooling in snatches, living on the edges of a drug and prostitution underworld, finding love wherever she can.
Suzan’s young life was the stuff of movies, but it is her writing, in a voice that is unforgettable and true, that transforms her memories into something magical rarely matched in South African literature. A new classic.
This is the beautiful follow-up to Somebody's Someone, Regina Louise's harsh, often brutal, but always compelling" (Booklist) debut memoir about growing up in the US foster-care system. In this book, Louise once again draws on her experience as one of society's abandoned children to tell how she emerged from the cruel, unjust system, not only to survive, but to flourish. After years of jumping from one fleeting, often abusive home to the next, Louise meets a counselor named Jeanne Kerr. For the first time in her young life, Louise knows what it means to be seen, wanted, understood, and loved. After Kerr tries unsuccessfully to adopt Louise, the two are ripped apart--seemingly forever--and Louise continues her passage through the cold cinder-block landscape of a broken system, enduring solitary confinement, overmedication, and the actions of adults who seem hell-bent on convincing her that she deserves nothing, that she is nothing. But instead of losing her will to thrive, Louise remains determined to achieve her dream of a higher education. After she ages out of the system, Louise is thrown into adulthood and, haunted by her trauma, struggles to finish school, build a career, and develop relationships. As she puts it, it felt impossible "to understand how to be in the world." Eventually, Louise learns how to confront her past and reflect on her traumas. She starts writing, quite literally, a new future for herself, a new way to be. Louise weaves together raw, sometimes fragmented memories, excerpts from real documents from her case file, and elegant reflections to tell the story of her painful upbringing and what came after. The result is a rich, engrossing account of one abandoned girl's efforts to find her place in the world, people to love, and people to love her back.
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.
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.
A new challenge faces foster carer Maggie Hartley: this time it's not a child that's at risk, it's her mother. Can Maggie help Hailey to escape her abusive husband, and reunite her with her baby daughter? A heartbreaking true story perfect for fans of Cathy Glass, Casey Watson, Angela Hart and Rosie Lewis. ***** A TRUE STORY BY THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR MAGGIE HARTLEY When six-week-old Jasmine is placed in her care, foster mother Maggie Hartley is delighted to have a baby in the house again. Maggie's been given temporary custody of Jasmine after social services were concerned that the baby was failing to thrive and develop. With Maggie's love and care, Jasmine soon flourishes into a healthy, happy baby - but it is clear that all is not quite as it seems with her mum, Hailey. Timid, pale and withdrawn, Hailey looks as though she is carrying the weight of the world onher shoulders. Maggie fears she may be suffering from postnatal depression until late one night she discovers Hailey on her doorstep, her body battered and broken, her spirit crushed. Hailey admits that her husband has been abusing her for years, but this revelation places Maggie in an awful situation: there's no way Hailey can regain custody of Jasmine until her husband is off the scene. But after years of physical and emotional abuse, can Hailey find the strength to leave him? An uplifting and ultimately redemptive story by Sunday Times bestselling foster carer Maggie Hartley. Perfect for fans of Cathy Glass, Casey Watson, Angela Hart and Rosie Lewis.
The eleventh memoir and latest title from the internationally bestselling author and foster carer Cathy Glass. This book tells the true story of Cathy's adopted daughter Lucy. Lucy was born to a single mother who had been abused and neglected for most of her own childhood. Right from the beginning Lucy's mother couldn't cope, but it wasn't until Lucy reached eight years old that she was finally taken into permanent foster care. By the time Lucy is brought to live with Cathy she is eleven years old and severely distressed after being moved from one foster home to another. Withdrawn, refusing to eat and three years behind in her schooling, it is thought that the damage Lucy has suffered is irreversible. But Cathy and her two children bond with Lucy quickly, and break through to Lucy in a way no-one else has been able to, finally showing her the loving home she never believed existed. Cathy and Lucy believe they were always destined to be mother and daughter - it just took them a little while to find each other.
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.
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.
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?
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...
Mariana the Mermaid is not like the other mermaids. Abandoned by a careless mother on the ocean floor, she has never laughed or played, and can barely even swim. She feels useless. Then she meets Muriel the Turtle, who welcomes her into her family and teaches her to sing her own mighty song, making her feel confident and ready to join in with the other mermaids. Written for children aged 4+, this picture book uses a simple metaphor to show how children who have experienced neglect or who lack confidence can learn to find a sense of self-worth. It will help children explore their feelings and encourage communication.
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...
`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...
Wisdom and experience from lesbian, gay, and transgender foster and adoptive parents Featuring a spectrum families from a diverse backgrounds, this book reveals the joys and challenges of adoptive and foster parenting. The authors outline how the experience of adopting of fostering has changed for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people over the years, outlining some of the major changes in policy, and what the research can tell us about LGBT parenting and adopted and fostered children. They interview families involved at different stages of the fostering and adoption process, from those undergoing assessments through to the experienced foster carers and adopters who were interviewed for the first edition of this book 20 years previously, and describe parenting adolescent and adult children. While the number of LGBT people adopting or fostering has increased since then, some of the very real challenges still endure: encounters with social stigma, racism, homophobia, and discriminatory policies -- and families share some of the strategies they have used to help address these. Full of remarkable stories that stay with the reader well after reading, this is an essential guide for same-sex couples and LGBT single parents, as well as social workers, social work educators and fostering and adoption panel members.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
This book provides tips for social workers and carers to look after cared-for children at school.
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.
Foundations for Attachment Training Resource is a six-session programme to help parents and carers to nurture attachments with their child. It is designed specifically for those caring for children whose capacity to emotionally connect has been compromised as a result of attachment problems, trauma, and loss or separation. Informed by attachment theory and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), it consists of three core modules: * Understanding Challenges of Parenting * Therapeutic Parenting * Looking After Self It includes relevant theory and process notes for trainers, and a range of activities supported by electronic resources with downloadable activity sheets and handouts. This is a complete resource containing everything you need to run the sessions, and is perfect for any professionals involved in training foster carers, adoptive parents and kinship carers.
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