Innocent is the shocking true story of little Molly and Kit, siblings, aged 3 years and 18 months, who are brought into care as an emergency after suffering non-accidental injuries.Aneta and Filip, the children’s parents, are distraught when their children are taken into care. Aneta maintains she is innocent of harming them, while Filip appears bewildered and out of his depth. It’s true the family has never come to the attention of the social services before and little Kit and Molly appear to have been well looked after, but Kit has a broken arm and bruises on his face. Could it be they were a result of a genuine accident as Aneta is claiming? Both children become sick with a mysterious illness while, experienced foster carer, Cathy, is looking after them. Very worried, she asks for more hospital tests to be done. They’ve already had a lot. When Cathy’s daughter, Lucy, becomes ill too she believes she has found the cause of Kit and Molly’s illness and the parents aren’t to blame. However, nothing could be further from the truth and what comes to light is far more sinister and shocking.
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Certain details in this story, including names, places and dates, have been changed to protect the family’s privacy.
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First published by HarperElement 2019
Text © Cathy Glass 2019
Cover layout design © HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 2019
Cover photograph © Voisin/Phanie/Getty Images (stock photo posed by models)
A catalogue record of this book is available from the British Library
Cathy Glass asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work
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Source ISBN: 9780008341985
Ebook Edition © September 2019 ISBN: 9780008341992
2 Title Page
6 Chapter One: Traumatized
7 Chapter Two: Chaos
8 Chapter Three: Disturbed Night
9 Chapter Four: Good Mother
10 Chapter Five: Distressing
11 Chapter Six: I Want Mummy
12 Chapter Seven: Sick
13 Chapter Eight: Need to Know?
14 Chapter Nine: Sick Again
15 Chapter Ten: Bonding
16 Chapter Eleven: Exasperated and Worried
17 Chapter Twelve: Play Nicely
18 Chapter Thirteen: Not Responsible
19 Chapter Fourteen: Hospital
20 Chapter Fifteen: A Breakthrough?
21 Chapter Sixteen: My Fault
22 Chapter Seventeen: Accused
23 Chapter Eighteen: Leaving
24 Chapter Nineteen: Shocking
25 Chapter Twenty: Beyond Belief
26 Chapter Twenty-One: No Contact
27 Chapter Twenty-Two: Love the Children
28 Chapter Twenty-Three: Disclosure
29 Chapter Twenty-Four: The Wonder of Christmas
30 Chapter Twenty-Five: Aneta
31 Chapter Twenty-Six: Permanent?
32 Chapter Twenty-Seven: Judge’s Decision
33 Chapter Twenty-Eight: Saying Goodbye
35 Suggested topics for reading-group discussion
36 Cathy Glass
37 If you loved this book …
39 Praise for Cathy Glass
40 About the Publisher
LandmarksCoverFrontmatterStart of ContentBackmatter
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A big thank you to my family; my editors, Carolyn and Holly; my literary agent, Andrew; my UK publishers HarperCollins, and my overseas publishers who are now too numerous to list by name. Last, but definitely not least, a big thank you to my readers for your unfailing support and kind words. They are much appreciated.
Thank goodness I didn’t have to witness their anguish and upset, I thought. I was sure I wouldn’t have coped. It was bad enough knowing it was happening – two young children about to be taken from their parents and brought into care. During the twenty-five years I’d been fostering I’d seen a lot of changes, but the raw grief of a family torn apart didn’t get any easier. I could imagine the children screaming and crying and clinging to their distraught parents as they tried to say goodbye. My heart ached for them. I also had sympathy for the social worker who was doing a very difficult job. No one wants to take children from their parents, but sometimes there is no alternative if they are to be safe.
It was now nearly two o’clock in the afternoon and I was standing in what would shortly be the children’s bedroom. I could have put the cot in my room, but I was sure Kit, only eighteen months old, would be happier sleeping with his sister Molly, who was three and a half. Doubtless she too would find comfort in having her younger brother close. Fostering guidelines on bedroom sharing vary slightly from one local authority to another, but generally siblings of the opposite sex can share a bedroom up to the age of five.