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
February – March 2008
Hi Cathy, Have just finished Hidden – as good as the first one, now waiting for the next book due out August.
Jan, New Zealand, 12/03/2008
Dear Cathy, My mum gave me your book to read, and I just couldn’t put it down. I like to read true stories and I loved the fact that your books were from a different angle-the foster Carer. I was so drawn into Jodie’s story, and all I could think about was her and how I could help children like her and Tayo. It has made me realise that one day I would like help children and become a foster carer. I have wanted children from a very young age and I am very lucky to have had an amazing upbringing. My parents were tough but always gave reason and love. I have recommended your books to my friend who has recently qualified as a Social Worker and I think she will be shocked at the way little Jodie was treated by her Social Worker. She was lucky to have you, as was young Tayo. Thank you for a great read and the lovely way you help and relate to children. I must also say that your children are remarkable to support you in the way that you do. Well Done, I look forward to reading your other books. Take Care
Victoria, UK, 12/03/2008
Hello Cathy, I have now finished your book ”Hidden” and I have to say it is one of, if not, the best book, I have read of this genre. The ending was great. Damaged made me cry, I can’t believe that poor girl Jodie was subjected to such a horrific experience. It such a good job that you were there to support her and make her feel safe and secure, and most importantly loved. I must add I really couldn’t do your job you must have the patient of a saint, which doesn’t require much sleep!!!!!! Hurry up and write another book I simply cannot wait till your next one comes out. Keep up your fantastic work your an inspiration to me Thank you
Rebecca, UK, 12/03/2008
Hi Cathy, I read your book “Damaged” and was very impressed by your dedication and tenacity with Jodie. I have D.I.D too (registered disabled) and fully understand what that child was going through. However, there is hope. Although I still have to attend therapy, I have successfully raised 4 wonderful children on my own. I was taken into care age 6 as a result of neglect and abuse and remained there for 10 years. I received compensation and attempted to prosecute the district authority too – but had to pull out because they found out I was multiple. Ironic – huh!!!! They couldn’t be sure “who” would attend court and legal aid was withdrawn. If only there were more people in the world like you. When I was a child, I wished I could have been given to someone like you to care for me. I was most impressed by the fact, that you didn’t just walk out of Jodie’s life – you didn’t leave her but continued to see her. This is important to us. I have learned (and read a lot) how children should be brought up and 2 of mine are at university now. My children know about the D.I.D. and interact very well with the personalities. Even one of the negative teens – the furious one – is now asking if she can be allowed to interact with the younger kids! Normally they scarper if she comes out. I understood fully about when “Reg” popped out and how your kids avoided him. I now moderate a D.I.D. group and continue to heal. With Jodie, in time, she may learn about unconditional love and care and learn to see that she is now safe. Thank you for taking time with her – you truly are an angel.
Ellen, UK, 11/03/2008
CG: Dear Ellen, Thank you so much for writing. What an amazing lady you are! I was so touched and moved to read how successfully you have turned your life around – that took a lot of courage, well done! What a fine example. I expect your children know how lucky they are to have a mother like you. I can only hope that Jodie does as well. Thanks again. Cathy
Hello Cathy, My name is steph and I have just finished reading your book Hidden and all I can say is wow. It took me 2 days to finish as I could not put it down. I have had a very good childhood however as written in your book a lot of children have not. I want to do something to help. I am only 20 so I am aware I am too young to foster children but it is something I want to do in the future. Can I just finish by saying I take my hat of to people like you, if only everyone was as kind as you we would not have a problem in this world with children. Thank you very much for your amazing book and for the work you do with children!
Stephanie, UK, 11/03/2008
Mrs, Glass, I just finished your book Damaged, and I am in shock. You are a great person, and Jodie was/is very lucky to be with such a good carer. As a survivor myself I can imagine very well what Jodie’s life is like. Keep up your excellent job, keep up your amazing strength and stay close to her, she will need you and your love the rest of her life. Your kids have a great mother and they are great humans. Thanks for publishing this book – to open up the eyes of the world about child abuse.
Alexia, Nashville, USA, 11/03/2008
Hi Cathy, Well where do I start! I read Damaged and was not able to put it down. You are just so great with these children, and to put it to paper makes great reading. I am now reading Hidden and it is just as good. Well worth the wait. Keep up the good work look forward to the next.
Jan, New Zealand, 11/03/2008
Hi Cathy, not a lot I can say that hasn’t already been said. I grew up with foster children as my parents also fostered. There aren’t many better feelings than when you see how much a child’s life changes for the better because of people like my parents and yourself. The book Damaged really touched my heart and reduced me to tears. You’re a real inspiration and it’s great to know you are still fostering. God bless you.
Dan, Cornwall, UK, 10/03/2008
Hi Cathy, My Nan sent me your book Damaged to read last month as we both have the same tastes when it comes to reading. I have today purchased Hidden and look forward to seeing how your gentle ways have touched another heart. No book has ever touched me as much as Damaged, and I have never been reduced to tears by a book before! The final heartbreaking moment was when you discovered the note Jodie had left behind, that must have reassured you to a certain level and helped you to realise that what you did was for the best ultimately. I am now considering becoming a foster carer, but not for a few years as I think I may be too young to cope with some of the traumas at the age of 21. Many thanks for letting me and thousands of others into your world. You and your family truly are an inspiration and your children are saints for understanding the neglect and coping with it so well.
Natasha, Merseyside, UK, 09/03/2008
Cathy, I have now read Damaged and Hidden, and I would like to say wow. You are an angel in disguise. You are an inspiration. I look forward to any more books you may publish. I used to work with children and can see how rewarding your work can be as they grow. I would like to thank you for your hard work. Kind Regards
Paula, Surrey, UK, 09/03/2008
Dear Cathy I have just finished reading your book Hidden I have also read your book Damaged. I think you are one special lady to do what you do and foster children. My family have had children fostered and your foster children were lucky to be placed with a family as loving as yours. I found both your books brought me to tears and laughter. I read them both in 3 days. They were heart breaking stories. You are an inspiration. Keep up your good work and may god bless you and your family.
Jenny, Australia, 08/03/2008
Hello Cathy, I read your book Damaged in just six hours – I could not put it down. I cried and I laughed with you. I loved Jodie’s letter at the end of the book – it made me smile and I hope it lifted you a little too. How can people do this? It is simply incomprehensible to me. I’ve had horses and animals all my life and when I see cruelty to any kind of life form my heart breaks – I usually go out and hug my animals because I’m grateful they are safe and happy. My heart goes out to you, you are truly amazing. It makes me love my family so much more when I hear these kinds of stories. My mum baby-sits now so she can still have children around her – and it shows when I walk around the shops and come across the children she looks after – they love her to bits – I am so, so, so, so lucky. I have completed a course called Landmark Education and with that and my back ground – my history with my friend’s children and my own family I know I could be a great foster mum. I live on a gorgeous one acre bush block with horses and cows on paddocks all around me. I know I can give a child a good life if only for a short time – or whatever they will need. You gave me hope that I can do this. Thank you Cathy for sharing your book with the world – what an inspiration you are to so many people.
Nola, Australia, 08/03/2008
Dear Cathy, my life changed in 24 hours, having travelled with your family and Jodie as I read Damaged. My husband and I can’t have children of our own and are in the training for Permanent Care here in Australia. I am thankful to you for opening my eyes and heart beyond measure – thank you for caring enough to make a difference. I will think of you and Jodie with inspiration. Love and light to you.
Lynda and Joe, Australia, 07/03/2008
Hi Cathy I am one of many who has read your books whilst crying. I cannot believe the pain that children in today’s society have to face. and the struggle they have to endure. Thank god for carers like you otherwise these children would have ended up abandoned, let down by the adult world and many would not have survived. And your children are credit to you. I have just finished reading Hidden and it has been the cause of me not being able to complete any work since I started to read it yesterday. I have never cried so much. Tayo’s father sounds like a man who will bring up his son to do many good things with his life. I do feel sorry for his mother as her own up bringing and knocks in life have reduced her to such a low level. I hope that one day she will be able to sort herself out and try and have some kind of life. I was lucky – my upbringing was perfect, although I did stumble from the path for a short while as a teenager, but my parents yanked me back on track. I am too selfish to have children, but I take my hat off to you for having the time and patience to help these children. One last thing – I wish that Tayo’s father would be able to do parent classes, I feel a few parents in this country would benefit by being taught his parenting skills. I look forward to reading your next book and implore you to keep up the good work
Claire, Devon, UK, 06/03/2008
Hello Cathy, I have just finished reading your book “Damage” and like many others that have I felt that I had to contact you. This book broke my heart. I have read many true stories of people that have experienced terrible abuse but I have always managed to detached myself from the horrible experiences. However while reading you book I found myself crying constantly and thinking about Jodie and yourself all the time. Like you said in your book, Jodie took over your life and thoughts completely. Yours and Jodie’s story really came into my life. I think of what the poor girl suffered, but it also touched my heart because of the love, patience, understanding that was given by you and your wonderful children. Your insight into the world of fostering and the wonderful work people like you do makes me have faith that Jodie’s parents and others like them are the minority. I see the Oscar, Brits, Grammy Awards and these people are receiving these prizes and praise for doing jobs that pay them millions of pounds to do, then there’s you and others like you doing this amazing, tiring, endless, job without financial gain and sometimes without thanks. You are the unsung hero’s of this world. I truly hope that Jodie is doing well and I will pray for her and for all the other children like her. I wish you, your family and Jodie all the best and hope that you life is filled with happiness which is what you deserve. Thanks for writing you book
Kelly, UK, 06/03/2008
Hello Cathy, I have read both of your books and both of them made me sad. I’m 27 and I have 3 lovely children that I love very much and would do any think for them to keep them safe in this world, but I’ve also learnt from reading your books that there are thousands of children that go through things that as parents make are skin crawl. Since reading your book and others similar it’s made me want to train to become a social worker. I know that sometimes the social workers hands are tied, and the job will be very hard and challenging but I really want to make a difference to children that need help. Many thanks
Miss K, UK, 06/03/2008
Dear Cathy, You are truly an angel. I am still crying after reading your book, Damaged, and all the emails. How you have touched us all. I rarely buy books, but your book caught my eye here in Sydney am I glad I picked it from the shelf 2 days ago. I would love to meet you, you are a truly outstanding person that will live in my heart forever. God bless you and your lovely family.
Maggie, Australia, 06/03/2008
Dear Cathy, I finished your book Damaged within 2 days. I have read books from people who have suffered in their childhood but to get your perspective as a carer made it all the more interesting and heartbreaking. Just when you get to a point in the book when you think that poor Jodie couldn’t possibly go through anymore, something else happened and my heart was breaking again. It is unbelievable that nobody stepped in before, it makes me so mad with the system. You are truly a wonderful person and with your love and patience you helped Jodie through some of her rough times and memories. I wanted to protect her but I honestly don’t think I could have coped with her, you are so special and good at what you do, you deserve a lot more recognition. I am looking forward to reading Hidden, and I will read any other book you publish. God bless you, you are an inspiration.
Samantha, Manchester, UK, 04/03/2008
Dear Cathy, My Nan has been a foster carer for nearly 30 years. She has also witnessed some extraordinary cases, and has come into contact with amazing children. In fact she has adopted 5 of her “looked after children”, and they have become as much a part of the family as me or my other family members. Anyway I would like to say thank you so much for letting other people know of the amazing work you foster carers do! My Nan isn’t much of a reader but I have encouraged her to read your book and she loved it! Sadly there are thousands of children out there whose stories are still untold, and perhaps in the case of children like Tayo in ‘Hidden’, will never even be told. However, the voice you have given and the light you have shone on the world of “looked after children” is extremely admirable, and I commend you for your continuing hard work and devotion. Long may it continue, and may many more books to come!! Thank you for being such an inspiration! Kind Regards and Best Wishes for the future,
Chris, UK, 04/03/2008
Dear Cathy, I have just finished reading your amazing book. I read your book in about 4 days, which is the shortest amount of time that I have ever read a book simply because it is so hard to put down. You are an amazing person and I am glad that your help and support has been acknowledged for everyone to see. I deeply feel for Jodie and what she had to go through and could not believe the things that those people did to her. I cried a lot of the time when reading your book, and it is one of those books that makes you think yourself lucky because there are always people who are worse off than yourself. Your book has helped me understand just a little bit more about child abuse and the pain and anger children like Jodie have to go through. I am glad that Jodie has improved and hope that she continues improving in the future. I just want to say that from the bottom of my heart that you are an inspiration to everyone and you are the reason for Jodie’s improvement. I think you are a wonderful person and probably one of the few that would have stuck with Jodie, despite her challenging behaviour. Thank you for writing such an incredible but heartbreaking book.
Lauren, Lancashire, UK, 04/03/2008
Dear Cathy, I fostered children for 10 years when my own children were much younger, then things changed and I resumed working fulltime and felt that I couldn’t give the time and dedication that is needed to be a good foster parent. Recently I have applied to foster again and am just going through all the necessary checks. Having just read your book Damaged (which was passed to me by my sister who is a Guardian Ad Litem) I know I have made the right decision. I am part way through Hidden now and just had to tell you just how much help your books have given me. The information and knowledge in your books has been a great help and I will most certainly recommend them to other foster parents, social workers and anyone else I think may learn from your experiences. Thanks once again
Karen, UK, 04/03/2008
Hello Cathy, I would like to start by saying thank you so very much for being that one inspiring person in a child’s life when everything seems to be over for them. I have read your books about Jodie and Tayo and I was so glad for Tayo, but sad for Jodie. I have read many of these books and have cried my self to sleep, feeling like one of these children. I actually live in Sydney Australia and work in a child care centre, and I find social services is not that great here and I am constantly fighting them. I think that you are such an admirable woman, and to have two loving children and a foster daughter is a very lucky thing. The children that come into your care are very lucky to be with you and your family. I wish you all the best in life for yourself and children, and I hope one day when I start to travel I’ll be lucky enough to pass you in the street. I think there is nothing better in this world a person can give a child than love and time. All the best of luck
Kira, Sydney, Australia, 04/03/2008
Hi Cathy. What can I say! I finished your book 2 days ago and I’m still thinking about it. The book related to me in so many ways. I am a young person in the care of social services. I read books like this as I like to read about other people’s views and experiences in care. Social services failed me for a very long time. I was on the at risk register for 6 years in total, from the day I was born. I found out later that I have 2 siblings that were adopted before I was born. I struggled to be at home with my birth parents everyday, but who listens to a six year old especially back then! My birth mother has borderline personality disorder, and had Munchhausen’s by proxy. She used to always pretend I was sick to gain attention. By the age of 6 I was in a rehab as I was on so many drugs that I couldn’t cope any more. I was then put into a therapy unit I was 12, then I had to be removed because of an age limit. I had many labels attached to me such as borderline personality disorder, autism, the list was endless. When I was in these units I hardly ever had a social worker and I was made to go to my birth parents for holidays, and that was not fun! But because I was only on an accommodation order and not a full care order, no one would listen to my plea’s to not go home. I went to my second therapy unit but I was humiliated in front of the whole school when the head teacher decided to tell the whole class it was of her opinion that I had started to get pmt. The stress of another unit had not helped in the fact my behaviour went bad for a little while. I decided to leave and started to lash out at staff, run away, self harming etc. I did get out in the end and I have been in 52 placements since and 7 kiddie secure units. Sometimes I just can’t cope with the world, I’m a chronic self harmer. I feel I can’t get anywhere in the system. I am constantly on happy pills. I have now been dumped in a flat to fend for myself. Anyway enough of my rubbish, I wanted to say that I am thankful. You’re amazing. Keep up the good work. You’re an angel I just haven’t met yet
Zoey, 19, UK, 03/03/2008
CG: Dear Zoey, thank you so much for writing. If anyone has been failed by the system, you have. What can I say to help? I doubt there is much. One thing that does strike me from your email is what an intelligent and courageous person you are. If you have come this far, I have a feeling that your life will improve – purely because of your hard work and determination. I feel your strength in your email; I know you can do it. And eventually you will be able to look back and say – ‘yes I was badly failed by my family and the system, but look, I did it! All by myself! And I look what a success I’ve made of my life!’ Please tell me I’m right. Thanks again, and take care. Love Cathy
Hello Cathy, I just finished reading your book Damaged and I was moved to tears, it touched my soul. And I just wanted to thank you for loving children, and for having the patience and the love to give to children in need. There should be more human beings in the world like you but unfortunately there are not. I have health problems so I can not do what you do but if I was healthy I would love to help children in need as you and your family have done. I guess in a way I am doing something to help because my adult child and her 3 children have moved back home and have been here for 2 and a half years now. She is trying to get her life back together after an abusive marriage so my husband and I do what we can to help. I just wanted to write to you and to say thank you for what you are doing.
Bobbie, Indiana, USA, 02/03/2008
I have just read “Damaged” and I couldn’t put it down. I thought about Jodie when I was at work. I work for the Child Support Agency and am constantly receiving phone calls from parents who refuse to pay for their children. All I wanted to do was tell them about Jodie, and how lucky they should feel about having a child. Thank you for allowing an insight into your hard and unrecognised work. You truly are an inspiration. I shall be buying all your books from now on. Thank you again xx
Emily, UK, 02/03/2008
Cathy, I firstly read ‘Damaged’ a few months ago, and was blown back, it really is an excellent book, and made me cry no end of times. I have now just read your second book ‘Hidden’ which was equally as good. You are truly a very special woman, and so are your family for being so supportive of you. I will be counting down the days until the release of your next book, and your next book after that!! You are a true inspiration, and have really made me consider fostering later on in my life. Thank you so much.
Claire, 19, Walsall, UK, 02/03/2008
Cathy, I have just finished your book ‘Damaged’, and just want to add my thanks to you and people like you who care for and nurture these poor damaged little souls. May God punish those for eternity who abuse those who are unable to protect themselves. A heartbreaking read but one which should be widely read and thought about and acted on. Many thanks
Lea, Turkey, 02/03/2008
Cathy, after reading “Damaged” I was so touched by “Jodie’s” story, it made me feel how empty the world can be at any age. As I turned every page of the book my heart bled more and more for her. I couldn’t believe how wicked humans are. I could barley read some of the pages and comments that Jodie made about the people how where suppose to protect and love her unconditionally. How could she slip through the system? I got to the point where I just felt I couldn’t read anymore of the cruelty she had suffered, but I just needed to know what happened to her. As I read on I realised I must be the same age as Jodie, which made it harder for me as I was having such a good childhood as Jodie was somewhere suffering! I hope she manages to control her anger and suffering and leads as normal life as she can.
Anne, Norfolk, UK, 01/03/2008
Hello, I have just read Damaged. It was heartbreaking! It is horrible how people can do stuff like that to their own kids!! People like that should be locked up forever. It was really good of you to take her in, I think you did a fab job of looking after her and gaining her trust. I am only 13 and to be honest I don’t know how she can hope with it I certainly couldn’t. Thank you for sharing such a moving and thank you for sharing such a moving story, Keep them coming! X
Lauren, UK, 01/03/2008
Dear Cathy, I have just finished reading your book “Hidden” and it brought tears of joy to my eyes. I have previously read “Damaged” and again it brought tears, but this time of sadness. I did shed tears of sadness in “Hidden” but the results for Tayo were amazing. You are such an amazing person and your kids, family, friends, and anyone that knows you must be so proud of you. You are an inspiration.
Nicola, North Wales, UK, 29/02/2008
Dear Cathy, I picked up Damaged at 13:00 this afternoon and by 18:00 I had finished it. I couldn’t put it down, although I spent nearly the whole book in tears. I am full of admiration for you and how you helped poor Jodie. You are such a wonderful person, and you do a fantastic job in helping those poor children who have suffered such unimaginable treatment in their lives. The tragedies they have suffered will never leave them, but you have done so much to help them, and for that they will always be truly grateful. I am also inspired by how wonderful your children are and how are amazing they are in helping you to make these children’s lives a safer and more secure place to be. God bless you and carry on the good work.
Louise, UK, 29/02/2008
Dear Cathy, I have just finished Hidden. I loved it. It’s good because I already had built up a picture of you house and family by reading Damaged so I got into the story very quickly. But I loved it most because of the ending. I just couldn’t stop smiling when I finished, unlike Damage which I cried. I’m so glad for Tayo. I can’t wait until Cut is out. My friend Katie is now reading Hidden and from what she has told me I think she likes it too. Best wishes
Kerry, UK, 28/02/2008
Hello Cathy, I have read your book ‘Damaged’ and I think that it is very emotional. I feel sorry for the young girl in the story Jodie ( my name is Jodie too). Parts of the book took me by surprise as well as emotionally. I have researched ‘Hidden’ and I will be buying that book as soon as I find one. You are a brilliant writer, keep up the good work. I will look out for any other books you publish in the future. Thank you.
Jodie, Bristol, UK 27/02/2008
Cathy, I don’t have words for you except God Bless You !!!! May God give you all the strength and courage that you deserve to bring happiness to these little children that come to you.
Anita, UK, 26/02/2008
Dear Cathy, I have just finished reading Hidden and I want to tell you it is lovely to see the help and support you offer to the children you foster. I just could not put you book down. I have also read Damaged and it was another wonderful book. It is great to see there are still some wonderful people like you out there to look out for kids who need love help and support. I look forward to your next book coming out. Best of luck
Noel, Northern Ireland, 26/02/2008
Hi I’m sure you receive emails like this every day. but I just wanted to thank you. I read your first book ‘Damaged’ and have just today finished your second ‘Hidden’ I’m 19 and sadly like many other people am a survivor of childhood abuse. Reading your books was so inspiring, they made me cry. I felt I could relate to both of the children’s stories in different ways. The horrible excuse for a human that turned my life upside down was my stepfather. He sexually abused me, sadly, I never told. Nobody found out. I never knew my biological father growing up and my stepfather has always been known as dad to everyone but me. Even when he and my mum separated, myself and my brothers visited him at weekends, I didn’t feel close enough to anyone to ask for help. The abuse has stopped for many years but I still experience pain especially when having to visit the monster on birthdays, Christmas’s etc. I’ve considered opening up to my mum many times, but I am afraid of not being believed and of damaging the lives of so many people I truly love, my family. How would they feel if they knew the real person he was? At the moment the only damage done has been to me, isn’t one life ruined enough? I had one dream, one wish that kept me going through many tough years and that was that I had a dad out there, one that loved me and that would one day be the dad I always wanted, someone to love me. Even though he was never far away meeting him was never discussed as he had problems of his own – alcohol. My mother once told me that she found out that her father wasn’t her biological father but it didn’t matter because he brought her up. I guess she imagined I could feel the same, but if only she knew. I did have one brief encounter with my father about 2 years ago but at the time he had been drinking and I was in too much shock to say something. Then he died, last April. My dream of one day having someone was gone forever. Nobody could understand why I felt so much hurt for someone I never knew. I wish I had had someone like you in my childhood, Cathy. I struggle being happy on a daily basis. I wish I could have a new life a new beginning, similar to Tayo. But now my father has gone my dreams of that have been shattered. After reading Damaged I considered being a foster caring when I am older to try and make children like me have a better life, but first I have to help myself. Thank you for being such an inspiration. I look forward to your pending publications. I read the article in the Daily Mail about how misery memoirs are more like pornography. That shocked me, I have read both of your books and several others of the same genre. I do not see them as pornographic whatsoever. Reading other peoples stories gives me hope that I too will have a happy ending, it takes my mind of my own problems and makes me feel lucky, as a lot of others have had a much worse childhood than me.
Nina, UK, 26/02/2008
Hi Cathy, I read your book “Damaged” in a day. It was amazing, disturbing, horrific, awe inspiring, and humbling to read the effects such terrible abuse had on poor Jodie. It was the saddest ending imaginable, although the best possible outcome under the circumstances. I do hope little Jodie is getting along ok where she is, and that she will one day, get to live an independent life. How you carried on without the support you needed, Cathy, is truly amazing. I really hope the social worker got what was coming to her. How are people like that allowed to work with children? The system here in the UK is pathetic. I am ashamed of how ineffectual the organisation can be. Sending your details to Jodie’s parents? A social worker not visiting for months on end? Being on the at risk register for 8 YEARS! Well done and please keep on doing what you are doing. My ex mother in law was a foster carer and I know how challenging it can be for the children of fosterers to cope with this amount of disruption in their lives. Your children’s attitudes were also amazing. Well done!
Laura, UK, 25/02/2008
Dear Cathy, I have just finished reading your book ‘Damaged’. It has touched me so much that I can’t help thinking about Jodie even when I am not reading. I was reduced to tears with every horrible experience that she had to go through at such a tender age. You truly are an angel and I can’t thank you enough for opening our eyes on what is really happening in child abuse. And last but not least, I want to thank you for putting the trust back into all the children who had been through so much in their lives. Until they can trust, they can never know what true love is. You truly are an inspiration. Best wishes,
Hello Cathy, I’m reading your book, Damaged again for the third time. I have three lovely children 7, 3 and 2 yrs old and I am in the very early stages of training to be a foster carer. It’s something I have always dreamed of doing and now that my son has started nursery a few hours a week I’m looking forward to hopefully having another little one around. After reading your blog I am amazed at how many people you have helped. You are a very very special lady, you are giving these children the courage to believe in adults again, thank you x
Dear Cathy, I began reading Damaged yesterday evening and finished it this morning. I couldn’t put it down and your story was amazing. I am so glad that you decided to tell Jodie’s tale to the world as it really opened my eyes to the work of foster carers and foster children themselves. Like the others who have commented (and I’m sure all of those that have read Damaged) it brought tears to my eyes. I would like to say thank you for opening my eyes and writing such a wonderful book about such a horrific tale. You are a true inspiration and Jodie was so lucky to find you. Thank you
Hi Cathy. Just finished Hidden, it only took me 6 days to read it. I could not put it down, I also could not stop crying either. I was in care and had to go to reviews but never understood why. But now reading both books I understand. Thank you and keep up the good work. I am looking forward to the next book you are bringing out
Kelly, London, UK
Hi, I’ve read both Damaged and just finished Hidden tonight. You are such an amazing person and I am so glad that you have helped these children. In the way you looked after them it made them realise that not every adult is as evil as they have experienced. I am very lucky as I’ve had a very good upbringing, and when I read books like yours it is very hard to understand that children are treated so bad. It really upsets me but also makes me realise that I should make the most of the life I have, and when I twist about silly things I always think about the children out there who would do anything to have a normal life. You are an angel and your children must be so proud to have a mam like you. Take care
Dear Cathy, I am reading your book ‘Damaged’. How the hell do you keep going! You should be given a huge medal for what you have done through fostering. I thought I was caring, but I could not cope with the children you have encountered. I have just ordered Hidden and I’m not sure that looking forward to reading it is how best to describe it. It looks like another truly sad story of child depravation. The children that have come through your care must be richer for having had you in their lives. I thank you for all of them.
Dear Cathy I have read Damaged and I am half way through reading Hidden when I purchased it yesterday. You are an inspiration. I think you are a very strong women. I can only imagine what you went through. I am only 13 and your book was great. After I finished reading Damaged my tutor asked me if she could borrow it. My best friend is fostered after she was abused by her parents who were drug addicts. I admire you so much Cathy and when I’m older I would love to be like you.
Cathy, I started reading Damaged on Saturday and I finished on Sunday. What an amazing riveting book! I am currently studying to be a Marriage and Family Therapist and God is continuing to draw me toward adoption and fostering. I would like to be someone that helps foster parents and the children adjust, someone like Jill. Thank you for sharing these amazing stories. It is so hard for me to understand how horrific some people can be. Just how evil that they are. Jodie’s parents were pure evil in what they did to their poor daughter. I honestly hope that there is not a day that goes by that they will not feel guilt for what they have done to this poor child. Again, thank you Cathy for being a voice from within the system. I have a friend her in America who made a documentary on the Foster Care System and I am going to recommend your books to her. Thank you Cathy,
Kelly H, UK
Dear Cathy, thanks very much for writing Damaged and Hidden – I finished Hidden last night and sobbed my heart out. I was in care for 8 years and am still in contact with my foster parents – now my mum and dad. I idealise what foster carers do – you don’t get enough recognition for exactly what you go through. Little Jodie’s story I related too a lot – I was abused myself by family members for years until I finally got into care and trusted my foster mother enough to tell her my past. My real mother had died when I was nine and I didn’t know my father. I just wanted to get Jodie and give her the biggest hug anyone could give her – but what you did for her was more than anyone will ever do for her and I’m sure she will never forget you. You never once gave up on her and it takes a very strong and special person too do that. Your children are very lucky too have such a wonderful mother. I am very much looking forward to your other books – carry on being an angel
Kelly R, UK
Hi Cathy, Your book Hidden changed my life, I thought it was such a beautiful and inspiring story. I think your job is amazing, and when I grow up I would love to foster children too. I think you save the children you foster and you probably also save people who read your books. Have been on your website and read all the comments people have left saying things like, “I was raped when I was younger, thanking for writing about this, you have helped my life”. I think if somebody can do that, just writing about their lives, that is a very special thing! I think that it isn’t only me, but all different people, who find you a very inspiring and wonderful lady. Thanks again,
Dear Cathy, I’m very pleased to say that I have read “Damaged” which made me look at children in care from their point of view, and that not all kids are the same. We have to try to understand and help them. I have a baby niece and nephew and I would hate to think of them being like Jodie, but I know and understand that if they were abused and neglected that I would try to help like you did. I am just about to read “Hidden” I’m scared to read them at night but I know not to read any more if it upsets me,
Hi Cathy, I was given your book by a very dear friend. It was a book I just could not put down!! As a mother of two young daughters, I absolutely struggle to comprehend how any parent could treat a child/ren this way. I too could not stop thinking about Jodie. You are a fantastic person, god bless you. Kind regards
Dear Cathy, I have just finished reading ‘Damaged’ and wanted to thank you. Thank you for not giving up on Jodie, and also for restoring my faith in ‘angels on earth’; something I truly believe you and your children are for having the love, patience and compassion that helped nurtured this child to a place where she was able to begin the healing process. I look for to reading any future books that you may have published and once again thank you.
Dear Cathy, I have just finished reading your book Damaged, and had to google your name to see how Jodie was doing. I spent some time in foster care as a young girl, I am now 23 and with the help of my foster mum and the people around who I loved have helped me. I’m now working along side children with learning difficulties, your book really touched my heart! And I’m looking forward to reading more of your life experiences all my love
Dear Cathy, I am a confident reader and have just finished reading your book ‘Damaged’ today. It touched me. It touched me so much, that even when I wasn’t reading it, I was constantly thinking about poor Jodie, and thinking about becoming a foster parent when I am old enough. I love babysitting. I borrowed your book from a friend who has read it over and over again, constantly – I’m drawn to it so much I want to as well! There is a long waiting list of people who want to borrow it off her, but after reading the story, I know for sure I’ll be out this weekend shopping for all your books!
Joy, 14, Australia
Dear Cathy, I just finished reading Damaged cover to cover in one day, then I had to check to see if they are any updates on Jodie’s progress. I found this blog and I am glad I can thank you personally for being the bravest person I have encountered to date. I am sure that there are angels now because Jodie was sent to you – the only person with room in her heart for a girl who had seen the worst of humanity. I am so truly thankful to know there are people as kind and forgiving as you, it makes me feel there is hope for all of us yet. Thank you for telling us what Jodie could not, and I sincerely hope she will go on to a stable future. Good luck and God Bless
Hey Cathy, Me and Sam have finished your second book Hidden and we both though it was amazing. It was so moving and powerful, it just proves that everyone gets a second chance. I just couldn’t stop crying. I’m really looking forward to your next book, I can’t wait!
Megan and Sam, 13, Plymouth, UK
Dear Cathy, I’ve just finished reading “Damaged” after it was recommended by my mum and sister. I was so engrossed in Jodie’s story I couldn’t put the book down. You wrote her story in such a way that I felt I knew her. I think you’re a very special person and your patience and understanding is to be congratulated. She could have been moved on and on to more carers but you saved her. That little show of empathy at the end says it all. You gave her the ability to express positive emotions that she has never been able to experience, you are a gifted mother and truly a saint. Kind Regards
Dear Cathy. Just wanted to say that I loved your book Damaged and I read it in a day. I sat here till 3am reading it!!! It was so good I couldn’t put it down. I cant wait to read your book Hidden. I admire your hard work and I think that you are fantastic and you have got a heart of gold. Love
Hi Cathy, Finished Damaged about a week ago, knew I wanted to email but needed the week to attempt to put into words how wonderful a person you are and not forgetting your family who were truly inspirational and grown up too. I don’t think that I’ve ever read a book that has stirred so many emotions, as my family looked on they must have wondered how laughter could so quickly turn to tears. I work in children’s safety am always seeking training to help me in my field and personal development. Your book added to my learning and understanding of a child’s feelings and reactions, which we too often look past and diagnose as behaviour. Thank you for sharing your story – I’ll never forget it or the part you took in a little girl’s life. Thank you
Dear Cathy, many thanks for hours of reading your books. I could not put them down. I have read Damaged & Hidden. I found them brilliant reads in both the way you go into fostering, plus the way you help the kids. You are a credit to them. I hope both kids are doing well. I felt sorry for Jodie, bless her, she has been through so much. I was so pleased for Tayo at least he had a happy future to look forward to. Many thanks for all you have given me and a special thanks to Jodie and Tayo.
Dear Cathy, I have just read your book ‘Damaged’ and like many others before me have felt compelled to write to you. I am currently studying for my Ba Hons Education and we have just begun a module on vulnerable children. I read your book alongside my studies and read it in one whole night. I think the work you do is wonderful and should be commended. I hope Jodie’s parents got their just deserves. You are truly an inspiration. Best wishes
Hello Cathy, Just wanted to say what a fantastic read Damaged was, and what a wonderful job you do. I read it in a day and haven’t stopped thinking of Jodie since. I talk about this book to anyone who will listen. It made me cry and sick to my stomach in parts, and also glad to know that there is someone like you. Obviously I’ve never met Jodie but by reading your book feel like I know her really well, and will always hold a place in my heart for her. Can I just say how wonderful I think your own children are also, you must be so proud of them. My 15 year old daughter is now reading this book and I hope if she gets anything out of it at all is that how lucky she is to have parents that love her, and that getting the latest pair of trainers isn’t all that important when there are children like Jodie who’s lives are being made hell by their parents everyday. I wish Jodie, if it is at all possible, a safe and beautiful life from here on in. Thank you Cathy for giving the world the opportunity to get to know her.
Dear Cathy. I just finished reading your book Damaged. What a heartbreaking story. What an amazing job you do as a foster carer. I can’t stop thinking about Jodie. I just don’t understand how a human being could be responsible for so much evil, especially her own parents. I hope Jodie is still improving. I’m a mother, but my wee girl is my world I wouldn’t let anyone harm her. There are probably so many other wee girls or boys out there that in need of help and protection. What a brave wee girl. Keep up the good work.
Hi Cathy, My husband and I just read your book “Hidden”. We became foster carers last year and in the space of a few months had 5 gorgeous little kids come through our home. I wish I’d found your book before we became foster carers because it would have been fantastic preparation for what we were about to do. The system over here in Australia is similar to your’s in the UK, the children arrive with nothing and we get basically no information about them. Your book really inspired us to keep going even though at times it can be discouraging. We’ve just bought “Damaged” and can’t wait to get reading. Keep up the incredible work you do and keep the books coming because they help us foster carers immensely!
Susan & Mark, Adelaide, Australia
Hi Cathy. have just finished your book, Damaged, today. I am only fifteen but understood your book as much as I could! You really inspired me and I was truly touched by what you did for Jodie. I know if there were more people in the world who have hearts of gold like yours then the children out there who have been terribly traumatised needn’t suffer any longer. You are a special person Cathy, and only you could make that difference for Jodie.
Lesley, 15, UK
Cathy, I’m 15 and I have read both your books. I loved them both! I think that you do an amazing job as a foster carer, and I really hope your books inspire more people to foster children. Your books really made me want to do something with my life that helps people and makes a difference to the injustice in the world. Thank you so much for sharing all your experiences with us!
Kahli, 15, UK
Hi Cathy, I have just finished reading your book Damaged, it is a wonderful story and so well written. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing with all your readers the true story of poor little Jodie, it truly broke my heart and also opened my eyes to the terrible suffering she went through. You are a very kind and caring person who has 3 remarkable children, well done. I have not read Hidden yet but will look out for it at the weekend.
June, Stoke on Trent, UK
Hi Cathy, I just wanted to pass on my thanks for your book, Hidden, that we’ve just finished reading. We are prospective foster carers who go to panel on 26 Feb 08 with National Fostering Association (NFA) and your book was recommended to us by our link worker. Having just gone through a 6 month process of Form F and weekly visits, we still had lots of questions about processes and procedures of how foster care actually worked, and your book was very enlightening. It really made all the, as yet just talked about, steps and procedures very easy to understand and to put ourselves in your place. It was also very encouraging and reminded us just why we wanted to foster in the first place. Can’t wait to read Damaged and looking forward to Cut. Many thanks
Jackie and Shan, UK
Dear Cathy, I read “Damaged” not so long ago, and yesterday, I finished “Hidden”. I so admire you for the work that you do – and now that I’ve found your website, I have made a list of all of your forthcoming books, and will look forward to reading them. I was abused as a child (though only a handful of people know this). Someone like you, someone who can reassure these young people, and give them back their lives through love and care can only be described as an angel. Keep up the good work Cathy – sadly, there are children in this world who need you.
Hi Cathy, I don’t read much, having teenagers, you know how much time they take up. My friend lent me your book Damaged and I too could not believe what poor poor Jodie went through – her own father, her mother! How did she end up with two parents who thought this behaviour was acceptable! I’m so pleased Jodie had you and your children, they are a credit to you. Keep up the good work, hopefully after your book Eileen is now seeking a new job
Hello Cathy, I have just finished reading your book “Damaged”, never has a book touched me so much. That poor little girl must have gone through hell, living with her parents. No wonder the poor mite was so disturbed. It just breaks my heart to read about things like this but thank goodness for people like you. You gave her the love and understanding that she needed to start the long road to a better life. I wish yourself and your family well. I would love to give that girl a great big hug.
Hi Cathy, I read your book Damaged a while ago now and whilst out shopping I noticed your new book Hidden. I knew I couldn’t walk away without it in my shopping basket. I am a 23 year old female from Australia and your books have touched my heart. From the moment I finished reading Damaged I knew I wanted to be a foster carer. I know I will have to wait until I am older to fulfil this dream, but I hope that one day I will be able to help a child or children in the way you have done over the years. I have already expressed my interest in becoming a foster carer to my family and they are all so proud that I have made a decision so huge, so early in life. I was recently dating a guy who has 2 children currently in foster care. He has been fighting a court case for the past 12 months to get his children back. His ex walked out one day with the children and never returned. She couldn’t cope with them as she was addicted to drugs and just handed them over, thus ending them up in foster care. He has gone through so much trying to get them back, all while his children have been shoved from one family to another. Having seen this side of things, but also learning from reading your books, I am more determined to become a carer later in life. I want to thank you so much for opening the worlds eyes to the trials of being a foster carer and I hope you have helped other people in the same way you have helped me.