5 Fostering Memoirs by Maggie Hartley
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Overview: Maggie Hartley has fostered more than 300 children while being a foster carer for over twenty years. Taking on the children other carers often can’t cope with, Maggie helps children that are deemed ‘unadoptable’ because of their behaviour or the extreme trauma that they’ve been through. She’s looked after refugees, supported children through sexual abuse and violence court cases, cared for teenagers on remand and taught young mums how to parent their newborn babies.
Genre: Non Fiction, Biography/Memoir
Who Will Love Me Now
Neglected by her teenage mother and taken into care, Kirsty thought she had found her forever family when she is fostered by Pat and Mike, who she comes to see as her real mum and dad.
But when Pat has a heart attack and collapses in front of her, Kirsty’s foster family say it’s all her fault. They blame her temper tantrums for putting Pat under stress and they don’t want Kirsty in their lives anymore.
A Family for Christmas
When foster carer Maggie Hartley meets Sean and Sheila, they’re facing every parent’s worst nightmare. A split-second decision to leave toddler Edward alone for a few short minutes results in a tragic accident, and Edward is left fighting for his life. He survives, but is tragically left severely brain damaged.
Will Maggie be able to help this family grieve for the son they’ve lost and learn to love the little boy he is now? And will Edward have a family to go home to at Christmas?
Too Scared to Cry
When Ben and Damien arrive on Maggie’s doorstep, the two toddlers are too scared to speak. More disturbingly still, their baby half-brother Noah is completely unresponsive – he doesn’t smile or play or crawl. The three siblings have been conditioned to be seen and not heard, and it’s up to Maggie to unpick what has caused this terrible void.
The Little Ghost Girl
As soon as Ruth arrived on her doorstep, it was clear to foster carer Maggie Hartley that Ruth had seen and experienced things that no 11-year-old should have to. Pale, frail and withdrawn, Ruth had been conditioned to ‘see no evil, speak no evil’. Raised by a cruel stepmother and father, Ruth had been abused, underfed and ignored, while her half-siblings lived a life of luxury.
Ruth is in desperate need of help, but can Maggie get through to her and unlock the harrowing secret she carries?
Daddy’s Little Soldier(updated 24th June ’19)
Quiet and polite, obsessively neat, clean and tidy, eight-year-old Tom is unlike any child Maggie has ever fostered before. Tom has been taken into care following concerns that his dad is struggling to cope after the death of Tom’s mum. At first, Maggie doesn’t know what to make of this shy, nervous little boy who never cries and is terrified of getting dirty. But as Tom’s cleaning rituals start to get more extreme, Maggie fears that there’s something more sinister going on beneath the surface.
When she meets Tom’s dad Mark, a stern ex-soldier and strict disciplinarian, it’s clear that Tom’s life at home without his mummy has been a constant battlefield.
Can Maggie help Mark to raise a son and not a soldier? Or is little Tom going to lose his daddy too?