Diaristic account of providing foster care to a woefully abused child.
Glass, a prolific author of books on her experiences as a foster parent (A Baby’s Cry, 2012, etc.), was initially reluctant to provide a foster home for a girl as severely abused as Aimee, who was “on the child protection register at birth.” Although the author had experience with traumatized children who acted out toward the social workers and foster parents who stepped in, even she was shocked by Aimee’s physical condition and behavior: ill-clothed, lice-ridden, addicted to sweets, rude and possessed of a sexual knowledge indicative of abuse. As Aimee began to adjust to the foster-care experience, Glass found the process more difficult due to the disturbances caused by Aimee’s mother, Susan, a wretched drug addict who had clearly left Aimee vulnerable to unsavory men. Susan threatened Aimee and made up dramatic stories for the various social workers attempting to manage the case, though she also eventually gave a partial admission of her faults: “You know how to look after kids. I never did. I’m not a bad person, I just can’t look after kids properly.” Although Aimee’s story has a happy ending, Glass ends with a reminder that Aimee is “one of millions of children worldwide who are not rescued when their parents fail.” The author writes in a straightforward and journalistic rather than melodramatic fashion, which makes the grisly back story of the misdeeds committed against Aimee easier to bear. However, she chooses not to employ editorial compression, so readers witness what seems to be the complete daily progress of Glass’ relationship with Aimee and her many drama-filled encounters with Susan. It is a monotonous approach to disturbing material.
A straightforward, full documentation of the challenges encountered in providing care to society’s most neglected children.