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...
Includes a sample chapter of Crying for Help.
This is the third book in the series.
The shock that strikes Casey and her family when Ashton and Olivia arrive is immeasurable. Two dirty, frightened little waifs stand before them, huge eyes staring around their new surroundings. Ashton – 9, Olivia – 6, have the same urchin look; hair running wild with head lice, filthy nails and skin covered in scabs. And the smell is horrific. The eldest two children of a group of five siblings, Casey had only been told they were coming two days earlier. But it was an emergency, temporary placement, and they were only due to stay a couple of weeks...
Casey is desperate to help these poor, lost children, who have been taken away from their family because they were considered at risk, but before she can even start to understand the horrific things that have happened in the past, she has to teach them the most basic of behaviours. Ashton and Olivia have no barriers and no sense of what’s right and wrong – her challenges begin with the toilet and eating habits.
The weeks roll into months and the months roll on, but bit by bit the children are starting to feel like they truly belong to a family, for the first time. With this new found security and love, gradually they start to reveal what really happened to them and their siblings at home, and slowly Casey can help them start to rebuild their young lives.
Includes a sample chapter of Too Hurt To Stay.
This is PART 1 of 3.
You can read Part 1 two weeks ahead of release of the full-length eBook and paperback.
Bestselling author and foster carer Casey Watson tells the shocking and deeply moving true story of a young girl with severe behavioural problems.
This is the first of several stories about ‘difficult’ children Casey helped during her time as a behaviour manager at her local comprehensive.
Casey has been in the post for six months when thirteen-year-old Imogen joins her class. One of six children Casey is teaching, Imogen has selective mutism. She’s a bright girl, but her speech problems have been making mainstream lessons difficult.
Life at home is also hard for Imogen. Her mum walked out on her a few years earlier and she’s never got on with her dad’s new girlfriend. She’s now living with her grandparents. There’s no physical explanation for Imogen’s condition, and her family insist she’s never had troubles like this before.
Everyone thinks Imogen is just playing up – except the member of staff closest to her, her teacher Casey Watson. It is the deadpan expression she constantly has on her face that is most disturbing to Casey. Determined there must be more to it, Casey starts digging and it’s not long before she starts to discover a very different side to Imogen’s character.
A visit to her grandparents’ reveals that Imogen is anything but silent at home. In fact she’s prone to violent outbursts; her elderly grandparents are terrified of her.
Eventually Casey’s hard work starts to pay off. After months of silence, Imogen utters her first, terrified, words to Casey: ‘I thought she was going to burn me.’
Dark, shocking and deeply disturbing, Casey begins to uncover the reality of what Imogen has been subjected to for years.
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.
Includes a sample chapter of Little Prisoners.
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...