All entries are from emails sent to Cathy, however she cannot be held liable for the validity of the claims made, some of which are very disturbing. Cathy reads and replies to as many emails as she can.
To add your comments, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Cathy, i have just put your book down and i cried, tears for you and your family and tears for Jodie. The question that always comes to mind is “why do the authorities allow it?”. I recently had to contact social services regarding my 1year old nephew whose mother has a drink problem and has never bonded with him because he was born without a hand.he his adorable and very loving and i have a close relationship with him but i am concerned for him as his mother has never bonded with him since birth and i worry when she has too much drink that he will be hurt.Social services agreed there was reason for concern and paid a visit …………….that was all.I have been told they have to wait for something to happen to him before they do something,so where is the logic in that?i am 35 and have two children of my own,14 and 10 and I am studying to become a social worker because i want to be one of the minority of social workers that will help children and stick my neck on the line for them and if i could get just one child away from being hurt,neglected or abused it will be worth all the hard work of the studying.you keep up the good work and i shall be looking out for your next book.If only the world had more people like yourself in it then we wouldn’t have to keep hearing of these terrible stories,take care.
Dear Cathy, I have just finished reading your book Damaged. I read it in a day, i just could not put it down. The best book i have ever read, so heart wrenching. I cried, i giggled, then i cried some more. Its hard to understand what goes on inside the heads of these monsters that make them do these horrible things to children. Through the whole book i just wanted to reach out and give Jodie the biggest cuddle i could muster.My admiration goes out to you and thank you so very much for sharing this with us.
dear Cathy, my names lizzie and i m10 yrs old i loved reading your book Damaged. i read it in two days it was really intriguing to hear about poor Jodie i hope to get more of your books i rele enjoyed it. i was stunned that parents and relavtives did this to some children your books are the best. xxx
Dear Cathy, I have just read your book Damaged and like so many have said, I couldn’t put it down. Although it proved distressing to read I am glad I read it – my eyes have been opened to the suffering of abused children. I cried so much for Jodie and am so full of admiration for what you did for that helpless little girl. Although she may not have the words Cathy, I am sure that deep within her she knows how special you (and your children) were and still are to her. You are truly her guardian angel and I am so glad that you have kept in regular contact with her. I was delighted to read your update on the website to say that Jodie is ‘happy’ and well looked after. I don’t think I will ever forget Jodie’s story. Please keep us up-to-date with her progress via your website – I feel like I know her. With love Debbie Dear Cathy. i have just read your book and needed to tell you that although i don’t know you personally i think you and your family are wonderful special people. what you did for Jodie whilst she was in your care was amazing your love, loyalty and care im sure has touched that little girl somewhere deep inside her you Cathy were her gift from god xx as a mum of 2 children reading the book i was reduce to tears to think that some parents can hurt there flesh and blood in those ways; it was on times a little hard to read but i hope and pray that many other parents will read it and stay aware of things that do go on in our world and not turn a blind eye. as no child should ever be allowed to slip thought the net of social services when they are filed AT RISK that should be there time to be made safe. again Cathy i want to say you and your family are very special and any other children whom come into your care will I’m sure feel this. god bless you.
Hello, I ordered your book online as I was a foster child myself although my situation was nothing like Jodie’s. I want to say I think you are an amazing person and made me see how much I would one day like to become a foster carer, although I am currently at college doing health and social care as I want to go to university to train as a social worker. I want to help children and young adults that were once in my situation. Your book brought back lots of memories of my time in care and I was also lucky enough to have a wonderful foster carer like you. I just want to say if it wasn’t for people such as you, children like me would have no hope in this world. From a foster child thank you for helping us to turn out unhappy childhoods into happy ones.
CG: Dear Catherine, Thank you. It’s so lovely to hear from people like yourself who were fostered. I am sure your carer is very proud of you. Good luck with your studies, and in your chosen profession. I’m sure you will be an excellent social worker and have much empathy for the children you look after. Very best wishes, Cathy
Dear Cathy, I have brought your book called Damaged and I have to say that it is very interesting It gives a good example of how a carer struggles to cope with a child who has Jodie’s problems and the trauma and suffering some children have to put up with. I think that you’ve done a great job coping with Jodie though it must have been hard for you when she became violent towards your other children. Keep up the good work Cathy and I am hoping to buy your new book called Hidden which will be out in October.
Amanda, Devon, UK
Dear Cathy, Jodie’s story pained me so much to the point where I had to stop on several occasions to gather my thoughts & emotions. The intensity of trauma & suffering this little girl has had to endure is both shocking & deeply disturbing. I can’t commend you enough Cathy on your compassion, strength & determination in caring for Jodie & other forgotten children. I admire you, your openness & willingness to share your experiences will indeed go along way, you are an inspiration to us all. Growing up in family where fostering was a regular occurrence, I know first hand that it is without a doubt one of the toughest jobs in the world. My heart goes out to Jodie. Thankyou Cathy for opening the eyes of so many to the hidden tragedies of fostering.
Dear Cathy, Having bought your book today at about 11:00 I have not stopped reading it since, and am so touched and humbled by what you and your children did for Jodie. As a Social worker myself I know many of the problems that children like Jodie face and I am also aware that the system does not and cannot always look after all the children in the way that it should or could, although many of us do try very hard indeed. I am returning to my fostering team on Monday and will be recommending the book to all of them as I think it is so a painfully honest and emotionally moving read that it should be read by all social workers.Thank you so much for sharing this and for making me realise just how lucky many of us are. I was in tears throughout much of the book, what you and most of all what Jodie went through was unimaginably painful and words fail me to even try and describe it. Your children are amazing people and you must be so proud of them.I am so so glad that you are still fostering we so badly badly need people such as yourself and your family, I am was so happy to read that you are continuing, you do such an amazing job. Thank you, thank you.
CG: Dear Fiona, Thank you so much. I have had many letters and emails from foster carers (as well as the general public), but you are the first social worker to contact me. I know only too well the huge work load social workers carry, the massive responsibility, and the limited resources. Fortunately most social workers meet the mammoth expectations of their job, and I have shown this in my next book – Hidden. However, you are obviously aware that there is a lot wrong with the system, where limited resources and huge caseloads, (and changing policy) mean that children do slip through the system. My warmest wishes, Cathy
hello miss cathy glass, my names wesley, i am 17 year old male living in west london i brought your book damaged your book is so touching and as i went on to read the book it had bring tears to my eyes the book is very sad. i wanted to write to you to say you are a amazing woman and has time for all those children who have been hurt, abused and neglected. the respect i have for you is unbelievable. also i am writing to you because i wanted to know when the other book (hidden) is out. also how is jodie doing bless her little soul. many thanks
Hi Cathy, Have just read your book ‘Damaged’, I also, couldn’t put it down… I have worked with children for the last 8 years and have 2 children myself. I have come into contact with various children over the years, and I would like to think that I have a small understanding of how important it is for a child to grow up in a loving, clean, healthy family environment.. which most of us take for granted! I think this was one of the most important facts that came out of this book, it was so carefully and thoughtfully written. It is so reassuring, these days, to know that there are people out there, in society that are so kind and caring, especially with the welfare of children. Jodie was exceptionally lucky to come into contact with you, as a foster parent, and also to meet your smashing children.. all credit to you Cathy..(you must be very proud of them). Your experience with certain social workers is hardly surprising, unfortunately. We often hear the words ‘a catalogue of mistakes’… just a terrible shame that it is innocent, helpless children that have to bear the cross..Looking forward to reading one of your next experiences with children… Don’t stop writing, something else you’re very good at…..
CG: Dear Jackie, You’re so right – ‘catalogue of errors’ is heard too much, indeed I am saying it now with the child I am fostering!. Love to you and your family, Cathy
Dear Cathy, I just want to say, it’s a pity there are not more, loving, caring, compassionate people like yourself around these days. I live in Australia and have just finished reading your book Damaged. I was so shocked at the treatment of Jodie, I can’t understand how these animals are able to exist in society. I want to tell you that I am grateful to be people like you that are willing to put yourself and your family on the line in order to reach out to help and to touch these young children’s lives. Thumbs up to you.
Hi Cathy, I’m 18 years old and my mum brought me your book from her book club at work (she knows how much I love reading and I face a long summer hunting for a full time job as I’ve just finished my a-levels). I didn’t expect to get so hooked on it though, I finished it in three days, it was so addicting. I was reading it during every spare minute of my day. I was very moved by the book, I cannot imagine how or why Jodie’s parents were so cruel, it made me cry in several parts. I just wanted to say that Jodie is very lucky to have had a foster carer as kind and altruistic as you, your love and patience started her road to recovery. It has made me think of foster caring in the future, I would like to help children and it would be nice to think I could make a little difference in the world. Good luck with the next book, I look forward to reading it.
Emma, Coventry. UK
CG: Thanks, Emma. Good luck with your A level results, my daughter is waiting for hers. Best wishes, Cathy
Hi Cathy, I’ve always thought about fostering and after reading your book and hearing how much you changed Jodie’s life for the better there is no doubt in my mind that I will. I found your book very upsetting at times but still couldn’t put it down I needed to know that Jodie was ok, thanks for the inspiration.
CG: Good luck with your plans to foster. Do let me know how you get on. Best Wishes, Cathy
Hi Cathy, It is the day after reading your book. I posted this on a survivors forum. It contains the emotions I felt as I put your book down last night: “I have just literally finished reading a book and for the first time in my life I’m in floods of tears. I have been known to cry at the odd film with sad endings, etc, however, this is the first time I have cried my heart out to the ending of a book. I’ve been torn between empathy for the child and her experiences, and for the unconditional care, love and support by the foster carer. Having experienced similar experiences in my own childhood, my “little girl” in me is in this little girls world from the book. This book touched my heart because it has allowed me to accept that my “little girl” needs and wants to talk to her therapist. As a survivor of incest myself, the similarities between “Jodie” and myself were too close for comfort and have given me the permissions to allow the child in me to voice her sadness through the adult me to my own therapist.” Thank you for the gift of the words from this book. For one, I wish I had received the love you showed to Jodie as a child. I am truly grateful to you, and have a tear again in my eye as I write this email to you. Of all the survivor stories I have read to date (Dave Pelzer, Judy Westwater, Stuart Howarth, Tory Hayden, etc), your one has been the most powerful of all as it touched so many aspects of my life, and for once I am struggling to express these emotions in writing! Kind regards,
Hello Cathy – I have just read your book and I am very upset for Jodie for what she has gone through. I am very pleased you came in to her life and helped her get through all the bad days – you coped so well. I hope Jodie will recover and hope that where she is at the moment is doing her a huge favour and some good. I have read so many stories about children being abused but not sexually it’s so outrageous to think that what happened to little Jodie and what she had went through could still be going on behind closed doors, she is very lucky to have found you. I hope that Paula, Lucy and Adrian are doing ok and of course can’t forget toscha the cat. Great book and well written – well done! Take Care x
HI Cathy, As you know I’ve read the book ‘Damaged’ and am still quite affected by your story. I mentioned to you in a mail last time that I really want to help children somehow and have therefore made enquiries to becoming a volunteer on Childline . I believe they should be calling me in the next day or two. I just hope I can help make a difference. Kind Regards & Best Wishes,
Hi Cathy,What a remarkable lady you are, I’ve just read ‘Damaged’ and i felt every emotion possible. I feel you are such a special lady, you gave Jodie so much stability in her life and have given her the best chance she could have in life after the horrendous eight years she suffered at the hands of those monsters! I have shed many tears over this last week, I look at my two lovely children amusing themselves without a care in the world, just as it should be for all children…..If only! You Cathy have put a smile back onto many sad little faces, keep up the fantastic work you do. Take Care X
Shelly (Bedfordshire), UK
Hi Cathy, I have just finished reading Damaged (took 7 hours, have never read a book so quickly). I had read other reviews before I bought the book and decided I would have to read it for myself. I don’t usually read true stories, and was very distressed by this book. The book was excellently written and I think the patience and understanding you showed Jodie was truly admirable. I hope that you carry on bringing hope to the lives of young people for as long as possible. Thank you for sharing your story.
Hayleigh, Hartlepool, UK
hi there, im Claire. bought ur book @ a book club at our work. I couldn’t stop reading which is rare for me! I finished Damaged within a few hours! after going on internet couldn’t believe that you’re about let another. Which im sure will be just as good if not better…….cant wait for the next new read! and keep up the great work.
Dear Cathy, Damaged would have to be one of the most disturbing books I have ever read. I cried most of the time for that poor little girl. I have a daughter aged almost 7 who has a few of Jodie’s behavioural problems. Not to the extent of little Jodie but we sometimes see “Amy” come out. (Not Reg thank goodness!) My children lost their Dad in a car accident 2 years ago and my daughter is still traumatized to this day. She is in therapy and it seems to be helping. When reading your book, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities with my own daughter. She too reverts to a babyish voice at times and appears to be a million miles away……..and I can’t reach her. She also now doesn’t seem to be able to control her bowels, but thank goodness doesn’t feel the need to paint the walls. I felt your pain as a carer not being able to reach Jodie fully. As a Mum who can’t reach her own child, it hurts and can leave you feeling very inadequate. Your book helped me to understand more about what my own daughter might be going through. For us therapy has just started and we have a long road ahead. Thank you Cathy, I sincerely hope one day Jodie is able to lead a normal life. No child should live like Jodie had to, she was extremely lucky to have found you. I also look forward to your next book.
CG: Dear Vicky, I am so sorry to hear of your bereavement. Fortunately your daughter has a loving mother who is doing all the right things for her. I am sure therapy will help your daughter. What a dreadful thing for you and your family to have suffered, and so young. My thoughts are with you both for the future. Take care. Cathy x
Hi, I am 17 and picked up your book from a book sale at work, when I started reading this book I just couldn’t put it down, I took it every where I went, home, the bus and work for about 4 days! I’ve now recommended it to everyone I know, it is such a heartbreaking story, and you must be a very strong woman to cope with such things, I just wondered if you are still in contact with Jodie and if she is doing well, as I hate it when a book finishes because I need to know how it all works out in the end. Can’t wait to read your next book. xx
Becci, Birmingham, England
CG: Dear Becci, thank you so much for taking the time to write. Because a lot of people have asked about Jodie I have added a small update on the Damaged page of my website. Thanks again for taking an interest. Best wishes, Cathy
Hiye Cathy, I know you prob get a thousand emails but I couldn’t resist. I purchased your book on Friday and lay awake until 07:30am Saturday morning to finish it. I was so moved by you generosity. I also shed a tear (or ten) when your children approached you to say that Jodie should stay, you are truly blessed & they are a credit to you. I’m 24 years old and my own mother & I started fostering just over a year ago. I can’t even for a moment imagine what you went through as I found as you say with enough attention, routine & love you can get through to any child and luckily it was that way for us. We had have 3 sisters last year and the eldest as you can imagine was the mother, she was 8, she soon learned how to be a child again. Now they are back with her mother and the eldest has to go to anger management classes now because she can’t cope at home & hates her mother. This to me is another error on social services behalf.Anyway, what I’m really writing to you for is to tell you how much I admire you. I was saddened to think you wouldn’t foster again after Jodie, but when you said you still were at the end, I again began to cry. You’re a credit to the human race. I wish you all the best with your new book & I also hope you and your family have a very happy life. Take care, Lee, Ireland Hello, I have recently finished reading Damaged. I am only 14 and I HATE reading but I read Damaged in 3 days! Because I just couldn’t stop reading it! I was stunned by what happened to Jodie and couldn’t believe any parent could treat their own flesh and blood with such disrespect! Well done! I feel for you!
CG: Hi Laura, Thanks for writing. You are the youngest of my readers so far. Well done!
Hello Cathy, I have recently read Damaged, and although I was sickened by the abuse Jodie had suffered, I was so intrigued, and have the utmost honour and respect for you. This story touched my heart, reduced me to tears, but I was grateful that in the end, that child could at least trust one adult, and that was you.
Hi Cathy, I’ve just finished your book Damaged, of which I am still touched, upset and very angry by what’s happened to this little girl, this has really broken my heart. I’ve just read the update about Jodie too, which has again brought tears to my eyes. You are a true and real inspiration, the kindness, support and patience of you and your children are remarkable, it would take a special type of person to deal with a young person so damaged as Jodie was and still is. My heart goes to you Cathy and of course to Jodie. You were her Saviour Cathy, you and your children. I’ve always wanted to help people and am considering giving up my job to look into what I need to do to try and make a difference in this world. I’m so so sad for this little girl but in awe of what you do and what you’ve been able to achieve. Keep going Cathy, this world needs people like you. Kind Regards & Best Wishes
Steve (Kent UK)
I’m a T.A. currently working with a child, and when I read your book it seemed as though you were writing about that particular child. I am very limited in the help I can give and was brought in to help with behavioural issues. I would love to be able to furnish the school and the social worker with details of a similar home that is currently helping Jodie in the hope that maybe this particular child can get the help and therapy that she so badly needs. The system here owes this child badly, and damage limitation is the only thing currently on offer. Would it be possible for you to let me have some details of a unit like High Oaks? Just maybe I can fight for the funding to get this child more help before things escalate to a secure unit for life.
CG: Dear Elaine, Unfortunately there are other children like Jodie, as your experience shows. There are quite a lot of similar therapeutic homes around the country and it would be up to the psychologist, social worker, and court, to make the decision for the child to attend. If the child you are helping is in foster care I suggest you speak to the carer who will in turn raise the matter with the social worker. That is the first place to start. Also the child must be having regular reviews and that is a good place to raise the matter, as well as the person at the school who is the designated person responsible for looked after children – every school has one. If you want more information about therapeutic homes in your area, I suggest you Google it, although the social worker should know about these homes. Good luck, and well done. Yours is a very difficult job. Best wishes, Cathy
Many thanks for your answer. It was helpful. I am having problems as you can imagine trying to get the people “in the know” to listen and take it seriously, so I will google it and put it in front of them in the hopes that they will listen soon, keep getting the answer lack of funds thrown back but I will persevere. Your book was like a light being switched on for me, it helped me understand my poor child more. With luck maybe more children can be helped to get therapy and care that they need when they are so damaged. Thank you again.
CG: Dear Elaine, Lack of funding is a continual problem, and in my experience the child has to be very disturbed to merit going into a therapeutic unit. Jodie is the only child I have looked after to have done so, in over 20 years of fostering. I wish you every luck, and also well done. I am sure you are making a huge difference to the child you are TA for. I know the good work TAs do; without you, the children would not be able to attend school. Best wishes, Cathy.
I read Damaged recently and although a terrible and sad story I could only think thank God that Jodie came into your care. It’s really heart warming to know how you helped her so enormously and gave her her life back. I’d never considered fostering but its something that due to your book I am looking into. It certainly brings hope to many children and adults alike. I wish you both the best of luck for the future. Kind regards,
CG: Thank you all so much for your kind comments and best wishes. And good luck Jasmin, there is always a shortage of foster carers.
Hi Cathy, I have just read your book ‘Damaged’ and thank God for people like you, I couldn’t help thinking Jodie is just one of many many children who have suffered and continue to suffer the horrors of abuse of any kind in the home. I just wish I had the strength and compassion and everything else it takes to do what you have done and continue to do. Keep up the magnificent work you do in helping these poor mites.
You must have the patience of a saint and a heart of gold. It’s nice to hear you keep in touch with Jodie. Keep your site updated with Jodie’s progress. All the best to you all for the future and thank God there are people like you around. Regards
Hi Cathy, I have literally just finished your book, and couldn’t stop thinking about you, your family and Jodie. These books affect me so much, but I love reading them, knowing someone out there is making a difference! I am nearly finished my law degree and really want to go into Family Law and help make a difference in today’s society. Your book has definitely encouraged me to do so. I wish you and your family all the best, and of course sweet Jodie, whom I wish I could hug myself. Thank you for being a true inspiration. All the best,
Ashlea, New Zealand
Dear Cathy, I have just finished your book Damaged about the very troubled little girl Jodie. I was completely entranced from page one, so too were the other readers who were unable to place the book down. As a psychiatric nurse, I am very privileged to say that I too have worked with troubled children and I can fully appreciate the hard times and emotion involved, and the real difficulty in not getting too involved. However, we too are only human and feel the pain that they have suffered and how hard it is too reach out them. I look forward to your forthcoming title hitting the shops Cathy. Regards and thank you for you devotion and dedicated work with these children.
Sharon. Hampshire (UK)
CG: Thanks so much to you all, it is lovely to hear your kind comments.
I am in the process of reading Damaged and just had to email and tell you how great the book is. These stories really need to be told however disturbing they may be. You must be very brave, patient and strong to do what you do and I take my hat off to you – who knows where Jodie’s story would have ended if you hadn’t fostered her or indeed the other children that you have taken care of too. Best wishes,
I sat and read your book, Damaged, yesterday evening and just could not put it down. You are an amazing women with a wonderful family who stood by you and Jodie, as I read each page I felt horror, pure horror at what that child had suffered…but the wonderful thing is you made a difference, you didn’t give up on her. I was truly moved by your book and your courage. The World could certainly do with more people like you.
What a wonderful book about a brave little girl written by a marvellous lady. I could not put the book down and was in tears when I read the letter that you found in Jodie’s bedroom. Are you still in touch with her and how is she getting on?
CG: Thanks Jean. A lot of people have asked how Jodie is so I have added an up date – see Books – Damaged.
I live in Australia and have twins 4yrs old I could not put your book down and wept so much I thought I was going to save our drought affected country.What a wonderful person you are and I applaud you for having the courage to keep going and to stand up against a system that is far from perfect.Has Jodie continued to make progress. I will send you a hug for the next time you see her. Thanks Cathy for sharing your story hopefully it may help others. Warm Regards
CG: Thank you so much for taking the time to write, and for your kind words. So many people have asked me how Jodie is doing that I am going to add an update on the website. There is no sign of a drought here, we have had rain for the last two days, non-stop, and more is forecast! Thanks again. Take care.
‘Damaged is the best book I have ever read. I was extremely moved by it and also uplifted. I am looking forward to your next book.’
Warren, Auckland, New Newland.
CG: Thank you so much, Warren. I have heard from quite a few people in New Zealand and Australia. The next book will be published in the spring 2008, and it’s called Hidden.
This is truly an incredible book. You read about these cases in the paper but this really brought it home to me.
CG: Thanks Sue, as you say you read about these cases in the paper, but I wanted to show the deeper story.
I have never read such a moving story, and so well written. I couldn’t put it down. Have you always wanted to write?
CG: I have always written (as a hobby really) – short stories, articles and a novel. I started writing Damaged as a way to release some of the upset and anger I was feeling about the way Jodie had been treated. The book grew from there.