When Cathy reads the referral from the social services in respect of Aimee she is horrified. It says that Aimee kicks, bites, pulls her mother’s hair and has strangled four kittens. The social services are looking for a very experienced foster to take care of Aimee and, with severe reservations, Cathy agrees to look after her.
Aimee is angry and she has a right to be. She has been living with her drug-dependent mother in a flat which was described by a social worker as ‘not fit for human habitation’. There was no heating, no hot water, little food, and no furniture. Aimee has been sleeping on an old stained mattress on the floor with her mother. Aimee is so grateful when she snuggles into her bed at Cathy’s house on her first night that it makes Cathy cry.
Gradually, with love, firm boundaries and routine, Aimee’s behaviour improves and she starts to learn. But the more Aimee tells Cathy about her life before coming into care the more horrified Cathy becomes. It is clear that Aimee should have been rescued, and removed from home much sooner. None of the professionals now involved in Aimee’s case can understand why she was left to suffer for so long. It seems Aimee was forgotten.
Cathy has been a foster carer for over 25 years, during which time she has looked after more than 150 children, of all ages and backgrounds. She is a specialist foster carer, also referred to as a level three carer, which means she often looks after children with complex needs or those with very challenging behaviour. Much of her inspiration for writing comes from fostering. She was awarded a degree in education and psychology, as a mature student.
Cathy has always combined fostering with writing, rising very early every morning in order to write, before the day begins with her ever changi...
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