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Damaged – A Foster Care Book Review


From the Cover of Damaged: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Forgotten Child by Cathy Glass:

“Cathy Glass had fostered fifty children over twenty years but none of them had been as disturbed as Jodie, a troubled eight-year-old whose violence and aggression had seen off five foster carers in just four months. When Jodie arrived, Cathy had no idea what lay beneath Jodie’s shocking behaviour, which included smearing feces all over the house, erupting into violent rages and even cutting herself. Little by little, as Jodie’s rage was met with patience and understanding, she began to trust Cathy, and to confide the dreadful background which had led to her present torment.

Jodie’s childhood had been an appalling litany of mistreatment and neglect, which should have alerted the numerous social work professionals involved with her case. Jodie’s case file was so big it filled two suitcases, but apparently not one of her social workers had ever read the entire file. If they had, Jodie’s story and her future might have been very different. Finally, in Cathy, Jodie found one adult worthy of her trust, one who could help her begin the process of recovery.”


5 hoots out of 5

Transfiguring Adoption awarded this book 5 Hoots out of 5 based on how useful it will be for a foster/adoptive family. [Learn more about our Hoot grading system here]

What I Thought:

Reading Damaged you will likely find yourself wishing this were a work of fiction as Jodie’s case history and experiences seem too vile and heart-rending to be true, but yet we know that children are living lives like hers worldwide on a daily basis. Cathy Glass offers insight into

  • the behaviors caused by sexual abuse which she saw in Jodie,
  • how she handled those behaviors as a caregiver,
  • how Jodie came to trust her and disclose the atrocities she had experienced,
  • how the case progressed,
  • and her own struggle with feelings of failure regarding Jodie’s healing

I have heard from several foster moms that Cathy Glass’ other books are also very well written and enlightening. Other foster caregivers will find encouragement, information, and insight in her books. I look forward to reading more books by Cathy Glass.

Note: This book could be very triggering for someone who has endured sexual abuse.

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It’s Your Turn:

Be sure to share your thoughts if you’ve read the book to keep the discussion going!!


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