Miller has had the most horrific childhood and has been in care since the age of five, when he was found naked and alone, playing on a live railway line. At that point, he had no real language skills, and was dirty and badly undernourished. When a passing motorist informed police, two officers arrived to collect him, and Miller pointed to what looked like an abandoned house. He and his parents had been living in the conservatory. His bemused, drug-addled mother laughed when the officers showed up. ‘Oh, so you’ve come to take him away then?' she asked. 'Hang on, I’ll get him a nappy.’
Miller's life since that day has been one of even greater insecurity, as he has constantly had to move on; because of the extreme nature of his emotional abuse, he has been extremely hard to care for. He has never spent more than a few weeks with any carer, and has gone through over 20 sets of foster parents in three years, as well as time spent in various children’s homes. Now almost nine, Miller has acute attachment disorder, meaning he finds it impossible to form meaningful relationships, or to accept any gestures of love or friendship. To even communicate with Miller, much less forge any kind of bond with him, is therefore going to be a huge job in itself. But one made all the more difficult by the challenges of his behaviour. He lashes out, he absconds, he has violent temper tantrums, and seems hell bent on driving his carers to the limit. And when the Watsons agree to take him on, it soon becomes apparent that they won’t be the exception….
Casey and Mike pride themselves on ability to ‘foster the unfosterable’ – something they’ve been doing now for a good number of years, and, by and large, they’ve been able to make a difference. But as the fractious weeks pass, it increasingly becomes clear that, in Miller, they are facing their biggest challenge yet. Is this boy – who really doesn’t seem to want to be loved – the one who they will have to admit defeat with?
Casey Watson has been a specialist foster carer for six years. During this time she has welcomed 14 difficult to place children into her home. Casey has spent the majority of her adult life working with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. This includes two years running behavioural units in schools.Casey combines fostering with writing, usually late at night when the rest of the household are sleeping. Casey’s own son has Asperger’s Syndrome but is high functioning.
More about Casey Watson