Rosie Lewis joins Mockingbird, an innovative new scheme designed to keep 'children in need' and their birth parents together. A specialist foster carer, Rosie plans to spread her time evenly between the families assigned to her 'hub'. Instead, she finds herself drawn into a chaotic household where tensions between family members have led to schisms and violence.
Nine-year-old Caitlin, Bartley, 8, six-year-old Ethan and toddler, Alfie, are living with their grandmother, Debbie Chambers, while their mother recovers from a mental health crisis. The boys gang up on their silent sister and Debbie's husband, Ryan, makes no effort to disguise his contempt of the young girl.
As the weeks pass, Rosie begins to wonder if it was really substance misuse that drove the children's mother into a downward mental spiral, as her mother and step-father claim, or whether a sinister secret lurks at the heart of the family. Can she encourage Caitlin to find her voice, before her time with the family ends?
With competing demands dividing Rosie's attention, it takes her a while to acknowledge that a heartbreaking situation is developing closer to home...
Rosie Lewis has been a full-time foster carer for almost two decades. She has welcomed more than a hundred children into her home during this time. Some stayed only a night or two, others became part of the family and remained for several years.
Rosie is also an adopter and has a special interest in communication with the deaf and attachment disorders. She lives in the north of England with her three children.
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