Brought to Casey as a short-term emergency placement, 14-year-old Adrianna arrives with nothing but her gratitude. Having turned herself in to a social services office some 100 miles away, she has no possessions, no English and, apparently, no history - not that she's willing to share, anyway. She is a beautiful young Polish girl, with the bearing of a ballerina, but is terrified, malnourished and unwell.
Casey's Unit is, as ever, full of troubled, disaffected pupils, and new arrival Leo is something of a conundrum. Thirteen-year-old Leo isn't a bad lad - in fact he's generally polite and helpful, but he's in danger of permanent exclusion for repeatedly absconding and unauthorised absences. Despite letters being sent home regularly, his mother never turns up for any appointments, and when the school calls home she always seems to have an excuse.
"Great book but not great reader"
Bestselling author and foster carer Casey Watson shares the shocking true story of Tyler, an abused eleven-year-old who, after stabbing his step-mother, had nowhere else to go. Knowing a little of Tyler's past - his biological mother, a heroin addict, died of an overdose when he was three - Casey feels bound to do her best for him. It isn't easy; Tyler continuously lashes out, even trying to attack Casey herself.
Rejected by her mother and excluded by her school, Flip is a little girl desperate to be loved. ‘Am I ugly, Mummy?' are the first words that little Phillipa says to Mike and Casey as she stomps into their lives on a hot August afternoon. She has a Barbie doll in one hand and a pink vanity case in the other, and the bemused Watsons can only stare in amazement at this tiny eight-year-old girl who is being guided into the room by her social worker.
Best-selling author and teacher Casey Watson shares the horrifying true story of Kiera Bentley, a 12-year-old girl with a deeply shocking secret she's too young to even understand. When Casey first meets Kiera, a small, slight girl who's just lashed out at a fellow pupil in assembly, she immediately senses something's wrong. Something in Kiera's eyes alerts Casey that this is an "old head on young shoulders", and with Kiera's constant tiredness and self-soothing habit of pulling her hair out, she follows her instinct and takes Kiera under her wing.