Tag Archives: Social services

Book review-Girl alone by Cathy Glass

I just finished Cathy glass’s new book girl alone. It was an amazing and gripping read, as are all of Cathys books. This book told Joss’s story. Joss came to live with Cathy at age 13. 4 years previous her dad had committed suicide. Joss and her mother had come home and found his lifeless body hanging in their garage. Joss as you can imagine had not dealt with this and as a result was doing lots of unsafe things, such as drinking and smoking canibas. Her mother Linda has since remarried, and Joss did not get along with her stepfather Eric and there had been lots of arguments at home resulting in Joss being taken into care. In the beginning when Joss comes to Cathy she has attitude, and continues to act out and do unsafe things. Cathy regularly tries to talk to her to make her see sense but it does no good. A contract of behaviour is drawn up but it is very lax and Joss is allowed to stay out late which Cathy doesnt agree with. However her social worker is young and naive and tries to be Joss’s friend, rather than her social worker. Joss hangs around with older girls, and doesnt do her school work so is behind at school. Then the school inform Cathy that Joss is being collected in a car by two older men. We come to find out the men are Zack, her friend Chelseas uncle, and Carl his friend. Joss lies to Cathy a lot and Cathy begins to wonder if she’ll ever be able to get through to her. Then an incident happens where Cathy goes to Chelseas flat and finds a party going on, lots of young teens smoking and drinking and when she goes upstairs to find Joss she finds her with Chelsea and Chelseas father in the bedroom. After Cathy takes Joss home and tries to talk to her but Joss becomes hostile and tells Cathy she is ruining her life. A week later Joss goes out for an evening and comes home and discloses to Cathy that Zack has raped her. A police investigation ensues. Then Joss makes more disclosures, this time about Eric her moms husband and her stepfather. She tells Cathy that Eric has sexually abused her. At first her mom doesnt believe Joss and sides with Eric. Eventually Joss’s social worker goes to visit her mom and brother Kevin and Kevin is interviewed and he also discloses abuse by ERic. So the social workers say that Kevin has to come in to foster care. However before he does Linda their mother runs away with him and ends up at her parents house. She is distraught and very upset. She tells her parents that she’s left Eric because she realises now that he did abuse her kids, something Kevin told her led her to finally believe him and Joss. Linda becomes very depressed and Joss and Cathy are afraid she is going to kill herself too like her husband. Joss’s grandparents fight for kevin and Joss to live with them permanently and Kevin does, but Joss stays with Cathy and sees her family at weekends. After a couple months of this arrangement her grandparents threaten social services with court action if they dont make a decision so it is decided that Joss and Kevin can live with their grandparents full time. Joss, Kevin and their mom live with their grandparents for another year after Joss eventually moves back to live there. Eventually after a year linda is deamed well enough to parent her children again. The book was shocking in so many places. Its heartbreaking in other parts, it is deeply moving and a testiment to the resilience and determination of children who have survived awful tragedies. After disclosing the abuse joss’s behaviour drastically improves, she’s like a totally different child. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in fostering, social work, or any abuse survivor. You wont be able to put it down.

Book review-My dads a policeman by Cathy Glass

Recently I read my dads a policeman. Its by Cathy Glass. Its a short read at only 100 pages. Its Cathy Glass’s first short story.
The story is based on a true story. It centres around Ryan, who is a 12 year old boy. His mom is an alcoholic and because of her drinking Ryan and his little brother Tommy are taken into care. Ryan doesnt want to go into care. When his social worker Duffy talks to him about it, he becomes agitated and very angry and ends up punching her in the face. Ryan is in trouble a lot because of his temper, also, even though he’s never seen his real dad, he wants to believe his dads a policeman, and he tells everyone this, even duffy his social worker. Duffy wants to split him and Tommy up and Ryan wants them to stay together. However that doesnt happen when they’re taken into foster care. So Ryan decides to run away from his foster hom and go home. He also wants to rescue Tommy. He runs away when his foster mom is sleeping. He finds his way home to his moms house, but then his foster mom finds him gone and calls the police. They come to his mothers house and try to get him to go with him, however he again runs away, and this time, they dont catch him. He ends up calling his best friend and spending the night in his house. His best friends dad is abusive and beats up and verbally abuses his kids. After spending the night with his best friend, Ryan tries to rescue Tommy, however Tommy wont go with him, he’s happy with his new foster carers. Ryan hangs around the town all day and then tries to go back to his friends house for a shower and to charge his phone. It is then that he sees the dad beating up his best friend. Eventually Ryan goes back to his moms and his mom talks to him and pleads with him to go back to his foster mom and dad, so she can go into rehab and get better. The book ends with her going into rehab, with Ryan going back to his foster mom and dad, and Tommy ends up coming to live with Ryan and his foster family. Ryans best friend ends up also going into care. At the end of the book Ryan finds out that his foster dad is a policeman, so it turns out that in the end, his dad is a policeman.
Its a great short read. I highly recommend it to everyone.

Book review-Another forgotten child, by Cathy Glass

I just finished reading this book 2 days ago. Another forgotten child was a remarkable story. It is the story of Amy, an 8 year old who Cathy fosters. When Amy comes into care she is severely neglected. She also has behavioural difficulties. Her mother and father are both heroin addicts. It is unclear in the beginning of the story why Amy wasnt taken into care at birth, as all of her older half siblings were removed from susan, her mother. On the very first night, during Amys bath, Cathy finds tons of bruises on her but it is not for a long time that she finds out the true extent of how and where Amy got the bruises. Amy doesnt know how to dress herself, wash herself, her teeth are all rotted and decaying, her diet before coming into care consisted of dry toast and biscuits. With a lot of firm boundaries and love and patience Amy begins to respond to Cathy and becomes part of her family. She begins to disclose to Cathy horrific abuse both sexual and physical and also she discloses being involved in child porn and drug dens. The story does have a happy ending but I wont say what the ending is and spoil it for those who may want to read it. It is a story of courage, bravery, and of how a child can so easily fall through the net and go through unspeakable abuse as a result. It is also a story of how one childs life can be turned around given the right intervention, care, and most importantly love.

Book review-I miss mummy by Cathy Glass

I’ve just finished this wonderful book. As with all of Cathys books, it was a wonderful read.

I miss mummy is about Alice, a four year old who comes into foster care after her mother suffers a break down. Just prior to her coming into care, her mother snatches her and she’s missing for 3 days and nights before she’s found and taken to Cathys house.

For the six months leading up to this, Alice has lived with and been cared for by her grandparents.

Leah, alice’s mother, is a drug user, and has severe mental health difficulties. The book centres around who is going to look after alice indefinitely. First the social services want her to live with her father and his partner, then they think about adoption, but finally after almost a year alice is allowed to return home to live with her grandparents.

Throughout the story there is ups, downs, highs, and lows. I felt that this story was a good example of how the social services can get it wrong sometimes, and make bad decisions leading to an upheaval in a childs life.

During the whole case there had been four social workers in total showing that when continuity isn’t there, lots of things can and do go wrong, and could have adverse effects on the child who is in care.

I miss mummy was a wonderful read and I am sure if you read it you’ll enjoy it. I couldn’t put it down once I started it and I read it in two days.

Book review-Will you love me? By Cathy glass

I’ve just finished an absolutely terrific book written by Cathy glass. It was called will you love me and it tells the story of Lucy, who Cathy fostered and eventually adopted.

Its written in two parts. Part one tells the story of Lucy’s early life. It goes from when she was a baby up until she was placed with Cathy at age 11. Part two tells the story of Lucys time with Cathy, from when she was placed up until permanency and eventually adoption.

Lucy was severely neglected by her mother from very early on in her life. She spent time living on the streets and in many different flats and houses with multiple carers. These included her mothers long term boyfriend and a string of his girlfriends. During the time these people cared for Lucy they severely neglected her and abused her.

Eventually when she came to live with Cathy she didnt trust anyone, having sought help from the social services only to feel they’d failed her because they didnt save her earlier in her life, and they kept moving her from foster home to foster home.

After months of living with Cathy and her family, she started to settle down. At first when she lived with Cathy her behaviour was really bad and she was very angry and had regular anger outbursts. She also hated all social workers and refused to see her social worker every time she would visit.

After a few months of fostering Lucy, Cathy applied to have her live with her permanently. But her application was turned down, because Lucys social worker believed that Cathy couldnt meet Lucys cultural needs “Lucys father was from thailand”. However after a change of social worker, and at a subsequent review the application went ahead and after a lot of months Lucy got to live with Cathy permanently.

10 months later, Lucy asked Cathy to adopt her. Subsequently this happened after her mother was informed and agreed. Throughout the book Lucys mother kept disappearing and as I said would leave Lucy with her boyfriend or strangers. Then when she went to live with Cathy, some contact resumed. However her mother was a drink and drug user and also suffered from depression so contact only took place infrequently.

I really enjoyed the book. Its very sad in parts but also very hopeful. It also shows the inadequacies of the foster care system and social services. It also shows that no matter where a child comes from, with love and the right kind of care and a proper family they can be helped and overcome their traumatic past. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who is a foster parent, trainer, social work student, or anyone who has an interest in foster care or adoption.
Carol anne