Zeena’s story is unusual from the outset. Aged 14 and from an Asian family she has asked to go into foster care, but doesn’t want to be placed with an Asian family as the social services were planning to do. She is petrified of something but can’t say what.
Zeena arrives at Cathy’s with a small suitcase packed by her mother, but when she opens the case she is upset and quickly closes it, saying the clothes are not hers. It is many months before Cathy discovers the true significance of the clothes and she is horrified.
Zeena misses her little brothers and sisters dreadfully, but disowned by her parents, she is not allowed to see them. When she tries her father abducts her and threatens to set her on fire if she causes any more trouble. Zeena breaks down and sobbing, tells Cathy what happened to her as a child, and it is truly shocking.
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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