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: email@example.com
Dear Cathy, I have just finished reading ‘Hidden’, after I had read ‘Damaged’. I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for opening up the doors for people to see what some children really go through and why they are put into care such as yours. I watched my Mum for many years continue endless hours of work here in her role as a social worker. I have to take my hat off to Mum, you, and all the other Social Workers and foster carers that continue the tireless work that you all do. May you have many more years of fantastic foster caring in you to help more vulnerable children like Jodie and Tayo. May all the best love, care and happiness finds you and your family safe and happy.
Liv B, NSW, Australia, 21/04/2008
Hello Cathy, I’ve just finished reading your book Hidden. I found this story very upsetting. I have also read Damaged and found that very upsetting too. I think you’re a very strong and fantastic person for what you do. I work in a local primary school with special needs children, and I would love to do what you do, but I know it must be a very emotional job. At the moment I’m thinking of going into social care doing the kind of thing I do now. I have been working with special needs children for the past 8 years since I was 17. I would like to praise you for all you have done for the children in your care.
Colette, London, UK, 21/04/2008
Hi Cathy, just want to say I think you are an amazing woman and an inspiration to me. When I read ‘Damaged’ I found myself hooked, I couldn’t put it down. Something about the book touched me, it brought tears to my eyes. It was an amazing book and for me it highlighted lots of signs to look out for. I have also read ‘Hidden’. I got it the day it was in the shops and had read it by the end of the night. Both books are amazing and so are you. I wish you all the best for the future. Can’t wait ’til you release another book.
Tina, UK, 21/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I have just read ” Damaged” closely followed by “Hidden” and I have to say they were fantastic reading! “Damaged” was different to “Hidden” although both gave a remarkable insight into what you came across as a foster parent! I cried for both of these children. I can relate to being in care, as I was in care when I was younger, but I am glad to say my experiences were nothing like little Jodie had!! I had been abused by my God father when I was younger although it was something very hard to prove in the sixties and nothing ever came of it. Please keep writing these books as they have actually given me insight as to why I behaved the way I did. It’s only thinking back now that has given me the insight! Thank you
Sue J, Northampton, UK, 21/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I have just finished reading Hidden and my God what Tayo had to go through in life just to survive! I have just lent the book to my niece and she can not put it down either. How can a mother do that to her child then give you all the grief when it was her fault? I hope they find her and try and give her the help that she obviously needs. I am now waiting to read Damaged, so will probably be crying again for a few days when I’ve got through it. Thank you again for an insight into a foster carer’s world and how you don’t get any recognition for the work that you do.
Rebecca, UK, 21/04/2008
Hello Cathy, I have just finished reading your book ‘Hidden’ and I have to say I loved every second of it!! I hardly read but after your book was passed around 3 of my Aunties on holiday, each of them saying what an excellent book it was, I thought I had to read it. None of us could put it down, explaining how all 4 of us had read it all in a week. Tayo’s story really touched me and I was moved to tears many times. What you do is truly inspirational and I really admire you and other foster carers. After reading Hidden, I went straight out and brought Damaged, which I started this morning. Already I am looking forward to my train journey home so I can read it. Thanks for all you have done for all the children who have been in your care
Sophie, UK, 21/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I went to school with a teenage girl who had suffered molestation acts by her grandfather and uncle when she was a baby. She had been through lots of foster carers who couldn’t give her enough attention so she was sent to a private boarding school where I met her. DOCS (system that looks after children who go in and out of foster homes) sent the troubled children to boarding school as a last resort and paid them quite a bit of money in fortnightly instalments. I left the boarding school as I eventually couldn’t hack living with so many troubled children, it was having an alarming effect on me mentally. There were quite a few troubled children, 2 extreme cases like this and they weren’t even receiving counselling! I’m nineteen now and look back at the girls differently. I tried helping one of them but being fifteen I didn’t have the knowledge or the energy. When I was nine or ten my parents adopted four babies from Papua New Guinea. I was involved in raising them and I would like to help someone turn their life around because I’ve seen second hand that its virtually impossible when they are older.
Courtney, Australia, 21/04/2008
Dear Cathy, I have just finished reading Hidden and at about the same time last year I had just finished reading Damaged. I have read true stories about the horrid things that happened to children and the reasons they were in care. I was in care and had many friends in care so I thought I could handle the heart breaking story, but that was far from the truth. I was not even half way through when I had to call my closest friend to tell how I was feeling. I was on the phone for over an hour crying for Jodie. I went back to reading and by the end of the book my eyes were sore from crying. My head was full of the words from the book and my heart was torn for the hurt that I felt for Jodie and the anger that I had for the adults that had done such gruesome things. It makes me sick to know there are people like that in the world. I am glad to know that there are some people that try to make a difference like you and your family. Like my last foster family it takes very special people to do what you do by taking in a child and making them feel safe and loved. It’s not something anyone can do. Hidden to me was a book that made me think back to when I was a child and I could remember going to contact and my mother not showing up. I will always look at being in care as the best thing that ever happen to me and remember that there are so many children out there that need to be in care and are not . I can’t wait for more books to come. I think that by writing about their lives you are giving these children a voice that they deserve. Thanks to you and all the other foster carers that do such an amazing job. xxx
Emma B, 19, Kent, UK, 21/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I am 14 and I loved your book Damaged and I am half way through Hidden. I think you are a fab writer and have a talent at taking care of these unfortunate children. You deserve an award if you haven’t already got one. I have always said that I would foster and adopt children but now I’m certain. Thanks for everything
Ashleigh, UK, 21/04/2008
Cathy, I just finished your book Damaged. It is so good to know people like you are around to help us people cope. I was molested by “uncles”, and my drunken mother allowed it. I don’t blame her as I now know she was sick. I have two beautiful daughters that I watch like a hawk. I am very proud of my motherly skills and that nothing has happened to my girls. My daughters don’t know about my childhood and don’t need to. One of my daughters started to read your book but felt she had to stop. She was 11 at the time and that’s when I picked up your book and read it. I hope Jodie gets some kind of life but I know it’s hard. Cathy, I think you are a beautiful woman with a strong heart, and a beautiful family. Please keep up your great work to give our “not so lucky” children a chance of happiness.
Leeanne M, Australia, 20/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I have read your book (Damaged). I think it is great. It shows your bravery courage and determination. I hope things get better for little Jodie, it’s not nice going through what she went through. I have never been through anything like that, but I have little brothers and sisters that are going through something similar. I think it’s a fantastic book and the things that you, your family and foster children have been through are tough but your are all still fighting fit and that is great. I’m glad you’re still fostering, you do the best job anyone could do. I think that you are an amazing women.
Anon, UK, 19/04/2008
Dear Cathy, the last email you got from this e-mail address was from my sister who read your book too. Damaged is a truly inspiring story it shows courage determination love and guidance from all the characters. I feel so sorry for Jodie and all the other abused children out there. What they are made to go through is dreadful and I wish that one day it will all come to an end. I understand what some of the children go through as I was abused when I was little. I was taken away and put to live with a family member so I’m lucky really. All my brothers and sisters still get abused in many different ways but your book gave us hope and determination to carry on. I think the work you and your family do is amazing and there is no better job. I wish Lucy, Adrian and Paula all the best and I wish Jodie all the best as well. Keep up the good work, its people like you that make all the difference.. Best wishes to all.
Anon, UK, 19/04/2008
Hi Cathy, like most of your readers I find your books an amazing insight into the life of a foster carer and the children you help. You are really an inspiration. My family and I are considering becoming foster carers. I work in a Primary School and have a lot of experience with “special needs” and feel we could all have a lot to give to a child in care. It’s a very big responsibility so we are not taking it lightly. We all have to know its right for our family. I want to let you know how much I enjoyed your books, I just couldn’t put them down and I’m looking forward to your upcoming books. Thanks again for all you and your family have done.
Kate, UK, 19/04/2008
Cathy, I have just finished reading Damaged and I have to say that out of all the books that I have read over the years yours touched my heart in a way that no other book has. I admire and respect people like you who have the courage to take in children like Jodie and attempt to show them how normal life can be and should be. I am still in disbelief as to how you found the strength to cope with such highly charged and extremely difficult situations without ever letting it affect Jodie’s everyday life. We often hear about child abuse cases and paedophiles but never realize what some of these children go through and how it can affect them for the rest of their lives. I have a close friend who is a Social Worker, and until now I never really knew what burdens she carries. Now I do, and I appreciate her all the more. Cathy, you and your family are truly amazing human beings. I am sure that even though Jodie is now being cared for by others, she does in, her own way, think of you and the help and support you gave her. I’m sure that one day she will thank you. I can’t wait to read “Hidden”. Thank you.
Leanne, Southampton, UK, 19/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I have read a number of books in which children have suffered. It saddens me to think that in today’s world such acts can still go on. Your book has really touched and yet troubled the hearts of both my mother and I. Nothing has made me cry in such despair as Damaged, I will read your other book Hidden, when I have finished my revision. Keep up your good work, you are an inspiration to me and a God send to the children who are lucky enough to have your help. Kind regards
Diane, UK, 19/04/2008
I am sure so many people must read this blog after hearing of your wonderful work. I used to foster babies who were to be adopted (this was when there were lots of them before the abortion act came in). It really upset me to have had these children in my care from a week old until they went to their new homes. What made it worse was the people who remarked that they could never do this type of fostering as they could not bear to part with the babies when it came to them leaving. We are not hard-hearted and I am sure you would agree that you have to put up with the partings (whatever age the children) as part of fostering. We had one baby until she was 6 months old and she cried when any other adult took her, but we had to hand her over, and let go, all the same.
Eleanor, Scotland, UK, 18/04/2008
Dear Cathy, I have read both your books and have cried both sad and happy tears. It is unbelievable what some children are being put through . I am a Foster Carer and have been for 8 months, so still have a lot to learn, but we are already finding it rewarding. We had only gone through panel for a week when we had a placement of 2 teenage sisters. It certainly has been a roller coaster of emotions which I think no amount of training can prepare you for. We have people ask why we do it, and it’s the feeling you get knowing that you may have made some difference to that child’s life, even if for a short while. We have a little boy of 5 and luckily he has adapted really well and has grown fond of the girls. I do worry a little though that it might change as he gets older. He does ask the girls some difficult questions sometimes which we try to manage by distracting him, he is obviously curious though. I look forward to reading future books from you as I find they help me look at things differently.
Jo, Cambridgeshire, UK, 18/04/2008
Dear Cathy, Words cannot describe the emotions I went through whilst reading both Damaged and Hidden. I read one book one day, the other the next. I couldn’t put them down, but when I did I had to call my two sons and give them huge cuddles. People who have children are given the most precious thing and that should be cherished and nurtured. Unfortunately some people are not able to do that, and that’s where angels like yourself come in to play. For Tayo and Jodie, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are a truly amazing woman. I hope I can be half as good a parent as you are. Please keep up the good work, you are a true inspiration. My partner and I are considering becoming foster carers and if we decide to go down that route, we hope we can provide a stable home life for a child.
Julia, Steve, Billy and Joe, UK, 18/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I have just finished reading Hidden which I couldn’t wait to read after I had read Damaged. I am a foster carer also, and could relate to all you say in the book. I have a brother and sister with me at the moment who have been in my care for nearly 2 years now and unfortunately I can relate Jodie’s story so much to theirs. They still have contact with their mother and I think that having to be courteous and stay professional has to be one of the hardest parts of the job for me. Your comments on the relief when you get to work with other professionals that actually do the job they are supposed to made me smile. Unfortunately they seem few and far between. Thank you for writing the books, I can’t wait for the next one.
Nicky, UK, 17/04/2008
I read your book Damaged a few months ago and it has left a huge imprint on my mind. It is such a heartbreaking story that I cried with every word. I don’t know how you find the strength to do what you do without giving up. Then when I saw Hidden I had to read it straight away and I also couldn’t put it down. I think you are an amazing person with everlasting patience and love for these children, and that makes all the difference in their life. It is just such a shame that the world is full of the kind of people that put these children into the situation they are in. God bless you.
Lee, UK, 17/04/2008
I finished reading ‘Hidden’ this morning whilst on the train to work, it’s taken 2 sittings to read your book. ‘Damaged’ moved me so much, the enormity of what Jodie had been subjected to was incredibly scary. Hidden was different but I was still in floods of tears last night reading it. Cathy what a wonderful person you must be, I am really humbled. Well done and keep up the good work. All the best to you and your family.
Louise, UK, 17/04/2008
Dear Cathy, I’m not a big fan of reading but I picked up a copy of Damaged and didn’t put it down until I had finished it. I had tears in my eyes for most of the book and by the end I was in streams of tears. I have passed the book on to family already so they can read about a truly amazing story. You and your family are amazing people for helping young children like Jodie get the help and love that they need. I’m going to find a copy of Hidden now, I’m sure its going to be just as good. Keep up the amazing work.
Vicki, UK, 17/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I read your books and really enjoyed them. Hope you are going to write more. Jodie’s story really hit home. I know these things happen to children and there are a lot of children who suffer. Thank God there are people like you who are there to help them. Tayo’s story in Hidden was impossible to put down. It took me two days to read. I am still wondering what happened to his mum Minty. She was suffering in her own way. A person like her needs help not pity. I am looking forward to reading more of your books.
Patricia L, UK, 17/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I just want to say your book Damaged was amazing, and it made me cry! I mean how can parents do that to their own child! I’m looking forward to reading your other books.
Sara, Walsall, UK, 16/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I have read both your books and was hooked on them! Having been in foster care when I was younger I can relate to some of the things you talk about. I was very lucky to have great carers, even though I moved 5 or 6 times before I settled with a permanent family. Your books are an inspiration and I am looking forward to the next!
Kate, Lancs, UK, 16/04/2008
I was so deeply touched by this book (Damaged). Glad there are such angels as yourself Cathy. Many blessings to you and your family.
Donna & Lachlan, UK, 16/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I have read Damaged, absolutely brilliantly written, but very, very sad as well!! Just started reading Hidden, and like your previous book, I just can’t put it down! Can’t wait for your next book!! Kind regards
Chrissy, UK, 16/04/2008
Well done in managing to make a 55 year old man cry. Only recently have I started to read books like this. Hidden was very well written and I could not put it down. I read it in 12 hours while on a flight to America. Are you planning to make a film of this? I think you should. I can just imagine Tayo. Keep up the good work. Regards
Glyn L, Italy, 15/04/2008
Dear Cathy, I would just like to take this opportunity to say what an amazing person you are. I have just finished reading both Damaged and Hidden, and from the moment I picked them up I couldn’t put them down. I have never cried so much from reading a book. Keep up the good work and may God be with you.
Sue, Lincoln, UK, 15/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I have just finished reading Hidden. I was in foster care until I was six and then adopted by wonderful parents. I am now 26 and can still remember some of the bad things that happened in my early childhood. Reading Hidden was like reading about my own life. It was as if you were describing my mum, she was like Minty. I recently met her and unfortunately she has not managed to turn her life around. I am very happy having been brought up with much love and my foster family, before I was adopted, played a big part in changing my life. I am sure you and your family have made an incredible impact on Tayo’s life and he will have that with him forever.
Leianne, Scotland, UK, 15/04/2008
Cathy, I heard about your first book Damaged from my relatives and thought I might try reading it. As soon as I read the first chapter I couldn’t put the book down. It’s upsetting to hear how Jodie got treated and you must be a special person to try to help her. My mum saw how engaged I was in your book so she thought she would read it. I finished the book and bought Hidden and I’m now on chapter 3 and am even more interested in this book . Keep writing Cathy because it takes one special person to do what you’re doing. Thank you.
Arsha, UK, 15/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I’ve just finished reading Damaged and cried from cover to cover. What poor Jodie endured at the hands of her evil parents and others, was so hard to believe. I hope Jodie can rid herself of the most awful demons she carries with her, and at some point start to enjoy her life. I think you are a truly fantastic person for taking in children with such dreadful problems and trying to help them. Your book has deeply touched me. I am going to start reading Hidden tonight! Thank You
Joanne, UK, 15/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I read ‘Damaged’ last year. My mum was reading it and I sneakily picked it up and started reading it. I couldn’t put it down and read it in 2 days until the wee small hours. Jodie’s story was horrific but your patience is admirable. How Jodie was treated angered me so much, I really hope she is still doing well. I have just finished reading ‘Hidden’, I cried such happy tears until the very end. I really hope you continue to foster as long as you can. You’re such an incredible person and there should be more like you in this world.
Lesley, 23, Scotland, UK, 14/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I’m only 15 years old but I found ‘Damaged’ and ‘Hidden’ truly inspirational. I read both books in 3 days. You are an exceptional human being and I admire you and the work you do so much. When I am older I would like to foster children and I can only hope that I can be even a wee bit as amazing as you are. Can’t wait for your next book to come out. Keep up the great work! x
Kirsty, Scotland, UK, 14/04/2008
I read Damaged last week and it really shook me up. It’s hard to understand why people think that it’s ok to do this to children. In my opinion they should all be castrated. It infuriates me that these people are among us believing that what they are doing to children is ok. Bless you and the help you gave Jodie and all the other children in your care. We need lots more like you !!!!!
Debbie M, UK, 14/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I wrote to you a while ago and have since read Hidden. I think I cried from the minute I opened it. I was a bit of a wreck! My husband just laughed at me. It’s amazing what keeps us parents going when it comes to our children. My husband and I attended our first training (prep) group for starting the process for fostering. It was really fantastic and I am really looking forward to the future, as I feel confident in the agency and my own skills. I’ll keep in touch as the process goes on.
Jacqui M, UK, 14/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I have read your book ‘Damaged’ and was so moved by the story that I bought ‘Hidden’. What amazing stories. I have never read such deeply touching and heartbreaking stories, I cried my eyes out. I envy the work you do and the time and effort you put in to helping all those poor children. You do a fantastic job for all of the children you foster. There must be nothing better than to see the delight on those little children’s faces each morning when they know they have you to care for them. Congratulations on the books doing so well in the charts. I can’t wait for your next one in August. Keep up the good work.
Natalie, Manchester, UK, 13/04/2008
I have read both your books and you are an amazing writer. You have allowed thousands of readers to experience every emotion that both you, your children and your foster children have been through. I cried continuously through “Damaged” for Jodie. It’s terrible to think that this behaviour happens to poor children everyday unnoticed. It broke my heart to hear you say you thought you had failed that poor girl, never. “Hidden” once again was an emotional rollercoaster. You do an amazing job and must continue. Keep writing Cathy, people are taking notice. Love and support to you, your family and your foster children.
Coral, Wiltshire, UK, 13/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I’ve just read Damaged. I read it in 2 days, couldn’t put it down. It made me cry. As I was reading it I felt like I was actually there, it truly gripped me. It’s hard to believe that children are subject to such terrible abuse. You are an angel in what you do and you have such an amazing family who understand and support you. I’ve ordered Hidden, can’t wait to start reading it. Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading your new book.
Emma, Nottinghamshire, UK, 13/04/2008
Firstly I would like to thank you for an amazing, heartfelt, educational book. I have read Damaged and now I am about to read Hidden. These are the first books I have read from a foster carer’s point of view. I have lent Damaged to others – parents, foster parents, and those like me studying social work at university. It is an important book for those who are, or want to be. social workers. Your books give an insight, by showing us the wider picture and helping us to become better social workers. Thank you Cathy for truly beginning my education in the world of social services. Your books should be a major part of our studies which sadly they are not here. On a personal note, my mother fostered an 18 month old child who came form a family much like Jodie’s; her sisters had suffered at the hands of their father. My mother has also read Damaged and we would both like to thank you for a book well needed.
Keri, N.S.W, Australia, 13/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I just want to say how great your books are. I have read both Hidden and Damaged and have never cried so much. Jodie’s story was very sad, but I cried with happy tears at the end of Hidden. Keep up the good work.
Sarah, UK, 12/04/2008
Damaged was a book I could not put down. My mum read it and passed it on to me. I was crying by the end a true heart breaking story. I’m going to start Hidden soon
Tracey, Sussex, UK, 12/04/2008
Hello Cathy, I too have just finished reading Hidden in 2 days. I have never cried so much reading a book. I have been considering doing foster care for a good few months. You have inspired me so much that I’m definitely going to pursue this dream . I just hope I can make a foster child as happy, safe and loved as you have. I do hope my children are as welcoming and understanding as yours have been – wish me luck!!!! Keep up the fantastic work you do, and also the books which are definitely very inspirational. I wish you and your family all the best and Tayo too.
Dionne, Kent, UK, 11/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I’ve read both of your books Damaged and Hidden in a week. Once started reading I just couldn’t put the books down. They are very sad stories about things that the poor children you foster unfortunately go through. It’s fantastic that there are people in this world that do a great job and see the children into a better life.
Nicola, Essex, UK, 11/04/2008
Hi Cathy, very good books. I started crying when I read Damaged but when I read Hidden I was shocked but happy. I read both books in 2 or 3 days. Very good can’t wait for your other books.
Christine, UK, 11/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I’m 17 years old and I have read both of your books, and found them very intriguing. I suppose if things had been different I could be in foster care. If things had come to that then I hope I would have been as lucky as Tayo and Jodie and had a carer like you. From what I have read the two children in question have been through a lot and you have been a ‘miracle worker’ in getting them to understand what was going on, no matter what the needs. Jodie could not understand what was happening, yet you explained the best you could. Both of your books gave an insight into what these children went through on a daily basis, a life of fending for themselves. I am glad that Jodie and Tayo got the love, attention and help that they needed. I wish them all the best, and you too. I hope you bring out another book soon. Well done Cathy….you really are an angel sent from heaven!
Lottie, UK, 11/04/2008
I have now read both your books and look forward to your next. I have a friend who has fostered “difficult” children for over 30 years and therefore have some insight into the ones you write about. I think you are an amazingly strong person to do what you do and then to be able to put pen to paper. Children such as Jodie and Tayo need more advocates like yourself. I will continue to pass your books on to family and friends to continue spreading the message. Thank you for writing books that are so open and honest
Emma, Southampton, UK, 11/04/2008
Cathy, I’ve just finished Hidden and I just had to email you to congratulate you and your family on all the great work you have done. My father and step mom foster kids and have had many over the years but thankfully none have had such sad lives as Jodie and Tayo. Never have I been moved to tears so much by a book. Thank you for sharing your life with us all.
Debby H, Scotland, UK, 11/04/2008
I read Damaged a few months ago and am half way through Hidden. I was deeply upset for Jodie after reading the book and couldn’t believe that she had to endure those horrible things. I think you are an amazing woman. You have endless patience and great skills in dealing with children and adults. You are truly someone to look up to and you write your books very well. I wish you and your children the very best of luck, you deserve it.
Victoria C, Manchester, UK, 11/04/2008
I finished reading ‘Hidden’ on Monday. That same day I started reading ‘Damaged’ and could not put it down. Although ‘Hidden’ was upsetting, what I read in ‘Damaged’ was so disturbing that I felt as though even I was taking on some of poor Jodie’s problems. I think it is absolutely appalling to hear that a child’s own parents made her endure such pain. I am disgusted at the time that Social Services took, maybe if they had acted a bit faster, Jodie would not have had to go through all that she did. You have inspired me so much that I am determined to be a social worker so that I can work with people like you. I pray for Jodie and hope she does continue to improve and that what she went through has not ruined her life forever. I am looking forward to your next book. Keep up your good work because you really are brilliant at what you do.
Mallesa, UK, 10/04/2008
Hi Cathy, l read both Damaged and Hidden in 5 days. l could not put them down. They were a gift from my sister from England. l live in New York. l cannot wait for your next book to come out this year. You are doing an amazing job, keep it up. It’s sad, but we need more foster carers like you in the world. Thank you
Joanna G, USA, 10/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I am a new foster carer and have just finished reading Hidden. I also read Damaged in the summer. I just want to say that you are an amazing foster carer, and if I manage to be half the foster carer that you are, then I shall feel that I have achieved a lot. I am also a single mum, and you being single as well gives me hope that I really can make a difference to children caught up in the system. I wish you and your family all the best in the future, and am eagerly awaiting the publication of your next book.
Lucy, UK, 09/04/2008
I have recently read Damaged and, working for a fostering agency myself, I have to say it really related to my work. The book actually helped me when dealing with challenging children. I have just started to read Hidden and I can tell it is going to be just as good. I enjoy your language and agree with your views about Looked After Children. I just want to say thank you . I have now passed the book round the office and to half our foster carers . They all said it was an inspiration to them. Thank you, and for being open and honest about Social Services. Looking forward to your new books. x
Shivz, UK, 09/04/2008
If only there were more people in the world like you. I first read Damaged and was very shocked. I then read Hidden and never has a book made me cry so much. Well done can’t wait to read more.
Christine, Liverpool, UK, 09/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I have read both your books with keen interest. I am a foster carer and have been for 15 months, so still new to the game. I have just finished reading Hidden and was amazed, it left me with a warm glow at the end. What a great outcome, if only they were all like that, but it gives us hope. I have now passed the book on to my daughter. I hope she can appreciate how good her life is and be able to help our foster children as well as your children have. Take care Cathy and keep up the good work, you’re an inspiration.
Joe, Surrey, UK, 09/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I have just read both of your books and they are amazing and written by an amazing person. I’m only 19 and I’m a level 3 teaching assistant and have my NVQ advanced apprenticeship. I have a passion for working with special needs children and also children from different backgrounds. You are my perfect role model as I want to foster children when I am older and have a place of my own. I would love to read more of you stories, you are a great writer. I hope that you and your family are well.
Hannah B, Sheffield, UK, 09/04/2008
After reading both of your books I’m totally inspired by you. I have just finished Hidden. Both books are so heartbreaking. I cried buckets of tears of sadness after Damaged but tears of happiness after Hidden. You are a truly amazing lady bringing happiness into the lives of others. I can’t wait for your next book . Thank you for bringing to light the suffering of others.
Amanda, UK, 08/04/2008
Hi I read both of your books, they were great. I can’t wait for your next book about the poor children that you have looked after. Tayo’s story was great. Poor Jodie’s life, how can people be so cruel? You are doing a great job .
Teri, UK, 08/04/2008
Hi I have just finished Hidden. It was very moving and took me just 2 weeks to read. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your stories. Can not wait for your next book.
Nicole, UK, 08/04/2008
A few months ago I read Damaged which saddened me greatly, I found it so hard to believe that children suffer so much in our society, that was until my own daughter revealed that her friend’s father had been touching her in a sexual manner. Luckily it did not go too far and remained at touching. I have had to learn fast how to deal with all this and find myself gravitating towards becoming a foster carer. Tonight I read Hidden, it brought tears to my eyes.. What a brilliant ending. It does not surprise me that many children are hidden as I care for people with children who Immigration have caught up with. I still do not understand why people with children enter another country illegally putting their own flesh and blood through such humiliation. It is truly not fair on the children. I look forward to your next book with anticipation. You are a lady with a big heart. Many thanks
Lynne S, UK, 07/04/2008
Hi Cathy both your books are fantastic. You are a warm, kind, caring and lovely woman. You’re an inspiration . Keep up the good work . I look forward to book number 3. Hope Tayo is doing well. Thanks
Alison, UK, 07/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I am 12 yrs old. I have read your book Hidden, it is very good and I enjoyed it although it is such a sad story of what Tayo went through. My heart goes out to him. I am very interested in your books and hope you write more. I too would like to become a writer and be just as successful as you. I am hoping that I will get to read Damaged as it looks interesting. My mum knows how it feels to be in care as she was in care as a young child. Could you please say hi to Adrian, Lucy and Paula for me, even though they don’t know me. They sound really nice. I hope you and your family have a nice Easter holiday. Regards
Maya D, 12, UK, 07/04/2008
Just a quick note to congratulate you on the books. Bought Hidden first and couldn’t put it down. I spotted Damaged in the supermarket and thought yes, must have it. So glad about Tayo. Can’t wait for your next book in August, Keep up the good work.
Jo F, UK, 07/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I have just finished reading your book Damaged and have also read your book Hidden. I thought they were both inspirational. I think you and your family are truly amazing for what you do for the children you foster, and the great way you accept them so warmly into your family. You should all be very proud of yourselves. Good luck for the future. I am looking forward very much to the next book.
Kelly, UK, 06/04/2008
Dear Cathy, I’ve just finished reading Hidden. I’m lost for words. The book is amazing. It really touched me. Thank you so much for writing it. I couldn’t put the book down! I’ve also read Damaged – another amazing book. I feel so sorry for these children because of the lives that they lived before they met you and your family. All I can say is you are truly an amazing foster carer. Please keep writing your amazing books. Thanks again for all that you do.
Samantha, UK, 06/04/2008
Damaged was passed throughout my family. It was truly awful what happened to Jodie. How well your family coped with everything. It must have been very hard for you. Well done for all the hard work. Hope she is well.
Emily, UK, 06/04/2008
After reading Hidden I was drawn to your book Damaged. I couldn’t put either book down and finished Damaged in about 5 hours. You are an inspiration to us all. Having been a Youth Worker for over 5 years I have dealt with some extremely vulnerable young people and can appreciate on a smaller scale just how hard it is to gain trust from these children. Could I also praise your own children, who despite some difficult situations sound like they are very caring just as you are. Keep up the good work. Wishing you all the best
Chantay, Nottinghamshire, UK, 06/04/2008
Dear Cathy, as a recent Adoptive Parent of two boys I am making my way through factual books like yours. I read Damaged last year, and simply could not put it down. I have just finished Hidden while on holiday and again I was unable to put it down!!! I have to say I shed a lot of tears throughout the book, particularly at the end. Your life as a foster carer is an amazing one, and I am happy to see that there are foster carers out there like you. I look forward to your next book.
Scott, UK, 06/04/2008
Hello Cathy, I have just finished reading your 2nd book Hidden. I am filled with a mixture of emotions, just as I was after I read Damaged. I can’t even begin to find the words that describe how amazing you are! And also how amazing both Tayo and Jodie are to go through such terrible experiences and having the strength to come out of the other side and carry on with life. Reading your books puts life into perspective and makes me realise how truly blessed the majority of us are. I hope you realise just how much of a life changing impact you make on the children in your care. I am totally in awe of what you do, and although I have never been unlucky enough to have experienced anything like the children in your books, I feel that you write in such a way that I can feel the emotions of all involved. You must be incredibly proud of how all 3 of your children adapt and deal with the children you foster, allowing them to share their family life. We take for granted the ordinary things in life and don’t actually realise how fortunate we are just to have someone there who cares, until we meet people like Tayo or Jodie. I am glad you felt you could share your experiences with us all. Both myself and my Mum (Susan) are eagerly awaiting your next book, as the last 2 we read in a matter of days. I would like to wish you, your family and all the children fortunate enough to cross your path a healthy and happy future! Thank you
Leanne and Mum, UK, 06/04/2008
Cathy, your inspiring story of Jodie hit home with me as I also worked with a young girl whose background was so like Jodie’s. Your book about Jodie was like reading the case file of this little girl I worked with for 18 months. She too was placed in a children’s home (a very good one I must add) as like Jodie, the damage she sustained was too great and she required expert therapeutic treatment. I am still working in child protection in Australia and my work for the last 18 months has been directly with foster carers. I was loaned your books by a foster carer who told me about the wonderful job you had done with both Jodie and Tayo and I could not wait to read your books. You and your family gave both Jodie and Tayo love security and the stability they both so gravely needed. I congratulate you on your years of fostering children and would hope you will continue for many more years to come. There are still many children in the UK who need foster carers such as yourself who are willing to commit to ensuring that abused children are cared for and protected from further harm. What I would like to see would be for Social Workers or Child Protection Workers to read your books so they will have an insight into what foster carers are faced with and deal with 24 – 7. They then may think twice about cancelling home visits or just not showing up as in Jodie’s case. I look forward to reading future books about your experiences as a foster carer, keep up the good work you deserve a medal as do all foster carers in all countries.
Debbie S. Brisbane, Australia, 06/04/2008
CG: Dear Debbie, since the publication of Damaged I have been shocked by how many similar cases have come to light. When I fostered Jodie she was the most abused and disturbed child I had ever looked after, who had been left too long in a highly abusive situation. I assumed her case was a ‘one off’. Not so. I have had hundreds of emails from those working in child care citing similar cases, as well as from teenagers and adults who were as badly abused as Jodie and could identify with her. It is truly horrendous and I think the level of abuse is far higher than statistics would have us believe. I find the whole situation very depressing. One of the reasons I write the books is to try and make the public more aware, and thereby hopefully improve the system which doesn’t always protect vulnerable children as it should. I just hope that in some small way I have been successful. Cathy
I strolled into Asda one Sunday afternoon and I’m glad I did. I picked up ‘Hidden’ and decided to buy it as it. Wow, never have I actually physically cried whilst reading a book, and I have read some haunting. disturbing, and sad books in my 21yrs of age! Such a sad but happy book, it certainly played with my emotions! Also can I just say that you are such an inspiration and so are your family. They welcome those kids into their home, most kids would be far too selfish to share their mummy with kids in care! Congrats to all and especially to Tayo!
Lynne, Glasgow, UK, 05/04/2008
Dear Cathy, I read Damaged last year, which I found totally moving. Early this morning I started to read Hidden, and was unable to put it down, until I finished it. You are an inspiration to us all. You have courage inside of you that only a few people can have. I hope that you, Adrian, Lucy and Paula and all of the children you have and will foster have very happy and fulfilling lives.
Tracy, Sheffield, UK, 05/04/2008
I have just finished reading your second book, Hidden, and like Damaged I could not put it down. When I was reading Damaged I could relate to what Jodie was going through as I went through similar experiences. I have been in care for nearly six years and it has been hard at times. I have come across foster carers that are just there for the money and don’t really care. I can tell from just reading your books that you care about what you are doing and want the best for the children that you look after. From reading your books I have realised that it is not my fault about what happened to me, and I should not let them win as they took my childhood, but they won’t take my adulthood. I ended up in a psychiatric unit and am getting discharged soon. It seemed like self harming had taken off in me, and if something happened I would turn to it to try and end my life. I can’t wait for your next books to come out. You are such an inspiration I just wish there was more people like you in this world.
Natasha, UK, 05/04/2008
I finished reading Damaged last week. It’s the first book I have read in years. I have never been so touched by a story in my life I still find myself thinking of it and my eyes filling with tears for Jodie. I am on your blog every day reading what everyone else thinks of the kind of sick world we are living in!! I think it is great that you are still in touch with Jodie and are also keeping all your readers updated with her progress. I can’t wait to read all your other books. I rest easy now knowing that God put angels like you on earth to protect the innocent. Well done for all your hard work love and understanding.
Helena, Scotland, UK, 04/04/2008
Cathy, I am a child and youth care worker in a residential program in Canada. I am writing to thank you for the amazing work you have done and continue to do with all children, especially Jodie. I love my job, and I understand your passion for working with children. The small gestures, the out of the blue statements, and the rare smile a child can give to let you know they at least accept that you are willing to listen and be a support for them makes it all worthwhile. I believe great foster parents are hard to find and we need more people like you to take part in the lives of these children. I would also like to thank you for writing these books as the world needs to be educated on the flaws in the system that let children such as Jodie fall through the cracks, just as much as they need to be educated on the amount of work and the number of people that go into caring for these children. You are an absolutely amazing person and you should never forget that. You have probably touched the hearts and lives of more children than you will ever realize. Take care.
Denise, Canada, 03/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I have finished Hidden and thought it was brilliant.
Olivia, UK, 03/04/2008
Hi there Cathy, just finished reading your latest book “Hidden”, and like “Damaged” before it, I was in tears near the end. Tayo and Jodie both had someone looking down on them when they were placed with you. May I also commend your 3 children who seem to be just as understanding with the foster children. I’m not the greatest of reader in the sense I don’t do it often enough, but both of your books I read in a day !!!! Needless to say my housework and children’s tummies suffered until I could stand the “What’s for dinner” no more!!! I wish you and your family well in the future and I can not wait till the next book is out. I will however make sure that double housework and tummies are seen to first!
Mandy, Highlands, Scotland, UK, 03/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I just finished reading “HIDDEN” and the least I can say is that it’s so revealing and touching. Keep up the good work. You’re such a marvel!
Eugene, Edinburgh, UK, 03/04/2008
Hi again Cathy, I contacted you after reading Damaged and I have now read Hidden. The reason I am writing again is that my son aged 11 has just finished Hidden. He loved it and admitted crying when Tayo’s father found him. Some may think that 11 is too young to read a ‘reality’ story, but I felt he was mature enough to handle the emotional content. I obviously said “no” when he asked to read damaged, because that is a very different matter. What he has asked though is that I buy your next book and read it as quick as possible and then decide if he can read it. I am overjoyed to find out that will be in August. I have already pre-ordered it, just in time for my holiday. As always, much love to you and your family, and keep up the good work, both fostering and writing.
Debbie, UK, 03/04/2008
I think it’s great that there are so many people out there who congratulate you on your work, and thank you for being so inspirational. I agree with them. However, I would also like to thank the children you write about. Without them, there would be no story. It is them I am truly inspired by, as they are the ones who survived such terrible situations before you came along. If only all stories ended as nicely. Thanks.
Kathy, UK, 02/04/2008
CG: I completely agree with you. My admiration for the children I look after is endless, and I hope that comes across in my books. I feel it is a real privilege and honour to be allowed to foster, and I know other foster carers feel the same. Cathy x
Hi, I have just read your second book Hidden which I finished in one night as I was unable to put it down, wanting so badly for Tayo to be reunited with his dad and with my heart going out to him. I also read your first book Damaged in one night but for different reasons. I cannot wait for the release of your forthcoming books and think you and your family are brilliant. I respect you enormously for the work you do with these children and for generously opening your home and your heart to child that desperately need love and attention. As a disabled girl reading these stories makes me realise just how lucky I have and that everyone has problems but not everyone’s problems are as severe as others.
Lisa, Bradford, UK, 02/04/2008
Hi Cathy, I have ready both Damaged & Hidden, they were both outstanding stories and so very enthralling reading. I got so much out of them, I am 60years old and have suffered from depression for a number of years, and through counselling identified the issues. I was physically, mentally & sexually abused as a child, reading Damaged was hard but very rewarding and hope Jodie can carry on her life in a safe and happy environment. I admire you for all your hard work, and dedication and wish you and your family lots of best wishes. Your children must be amazing. Keep up the good work and I look forward to your next book
Lilian, Lancashire, UK, 02/04/2008
Cathy you are an incredible writer and I am amazed by the things that really go on with these children, I read Damaged a few months ago and finished Hidden last night; I wept at the end. I would love to read more of your stories and really can’t wait for your next book. You are an amazing woman with a very great talent and I just wish there were more people in this world like you to take care of such children.
Alexis D, Scotland, UK, 02/04/2008
Hi Cathy, wow what an inspiration you really are. I have read “Damaged” and “Hidden”, both taking only a couple of days to complete. I was unable to put them down. I was enticed with each chapter to find out about the next episodes in these young peoples lives. My heart goes out to Jodie, whom I hope is doing well. As for Tayo, what a splendid ending to such a tragic beginning! Minty has some of my sympathy as there must be a story in her to make her the way she was. My real reason for writing this to you, is to congratulate you on your own children Paula and Adrian and not to forget Lucy. All three of them seem so charming and supportive of your fostering. There were probably times that were hard but they seem to have taken the right roads in their lives. Well done you seem to be a great mum. Good luck for your future and all those that find themselves luckily enough to be fostered by you.
Claire, Sussex, UK, 02/04/2008
Hello, I just finished reading you book Damaged and its amazing. I wasn’t a big reader till I read you book. I cried where you were leaving her and she held you tight, and then the letter. I always wanted something to do with kids and now I know what I want to do thanks to you. I’m only 14 year old and I just realised what other people go though in the world, and I want to help. My Dad is going out Saturday to buy me your other book Hidden and I just can’t wait. I bet you hear everyone saying this everyday to you. I bet I wont be the last… your a great women.
Kirk, UK, 02/04/2008
Hi, Cathy I emailed you last year when I finished Damaged, and now I have just finished reading Hidden. Oh my god that poor child! I am now in my 2ND year of my open university degree on childhood and youth studies and we touch on abuse and the circumstances some children live in. I laughed, raged and cried with Tayo throughout your book I hope he is well and loving life. You are an amazing woman as are the thousands like you who put there lives on hold to help others. I hope your own children are well and are succeeding on there chosen paths. May all children who are unfortunate enough to be in care have a wonderful carer like you. Love and respect
Luisa, Cumbria, UK, 01/04/2008
Hey Cathy, I’m a 16 year old girl and about 6 months ago I read Damaged. The story about Jodie touched me and I tried to talk my mum into reading it but didn’t succeed. Being in the popular group at school it was also hard for me to tell my friends about the book. Once I started the book I couldn’t put it down. Then on Saturday I found Hidden in a shop I had to buy it. I don’t read, but your books are inspiring. The story about Tayo was a miracle. One day when I’m a foster carer I will look up to u as my hero. I can’t wait to read more books from you. I just hope they come down to Australia in my small town where I can purchase them.
Sheree K, Australia, 01/04/2008