The social services are looking for a very experienced foster carer to look after Aimee and, when she reads the referral, Cathy understands why: it says that Aimee kicks and bites her mother, that her mother is terrified of her, and that in rage Aimee strangled and killed four of their cat’s kittens. Despite her reservations, Cathy agrees to take on Aimee – there is something about her that reminds Cathy of Jodie (the subject of Damaged and most disturbed child Cathy has cared for), and reading the report instantly tugs at her heart strings.
When she arrives, Aimee is angry. And she has every right to be. She has spent the first eight years of her life living with her drug-dependent mother in a flat that the social worker described as ‘not fit for human habitation’. There was no heating, no hot water, little food and no furniture. Aimee is so grateful as she snuggles into her bed at Cathy’s house on the first night that it brings Cathy to tears.
Aimee’s mother is aggressive and she is constantly causing a scene at contact, and makes sweeping allegations against Cathy and her family in front of her daughter as well. It is a trying time for Cathy, and it makes it difficult for Aimee to settle. But as Aimee begins to trust Cathy her behavior improves and she starts to open up. And the more Cathy learns about Aimee’s life before she came into care the more horrified she becomes.
It’s clear that Aimee should have been rescued much sooner and Cathy promises to stand by her no matter what, but as Aimee’s journey seems to be coming to a happy end Cathy can’t help but reflect on all the other ‘forgotten children’ that are still suffering.