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In this candid and shocking book, I bring to life some of the cases I have worked on over the years. Names and case details have been changed to provide anonymity; but the grit, determination and heroism shown by these young adults is absolutely real. The book tells six stories all different, all compelling. 

Mia’s story focuses on her journey from young carer to becoming a daughter and a child for the first time since she could remember. Mia was taken from her mother by social services because she and her brothers had been neglected and had witnessed habitual drug taking and other activities in the home. Mia’s is a story of trust, love and hope against a backdrop of drugs, lies and a new family. Mia survived life the best way she knew how. A little bit of Sass, a lot of drama and an uncanny ability to get under the skin of every adult she worked with in the school.

Abbi was referred as a last resort. She had been desperately trying to get her foster mother and social worker to refer her for gender reassignment. A very outspoken and eloquent girl, Abbi had confidently told anyone who would listen that she wanted to be a boy. Abbi’s story focuses on her voyage of self discovery and also her complex journey and processing of the hatred that she has for her parents who were part of a paedophile network...but also the love.

Lucy was referred at 14, she was under threat of permanent exclusion for her angry outbursts. Lucy’s story centres around her violent and manipulative step father who adored and doted on her, calling her his “princess” until she reached the age of 10 and she became included in the beatings along with her mother and two older brothers. The family were re homed to escape from Lucy’s stepfather but he seemed to have an almost superhuman ability to find them and access the home, proving time after time that they would never escape him, even in death.

Peter was referred to me following a safeguarding disclosure where, at the age of 15, he had been discovered by a third party to be a relationship with another boy aged 17. Although the relationship was not sexual, it was Peter’s first experience with another male and had been a loving and tender time for him. Peter was un-diagnosed but showed many traits conducive to Asperger’s syndrome this made working with him a challenge.

Olivia self referred to me following the advice of her grandmother. Olivia was just 13 at the time, in Year 9 but looked much older. Olivia was mature emotionally too. This was perhaps her downfall as she was trying to make her way in life dealing with a mother who was mostly a “child” and and an absent, angry, verbally (and occasionally physically) abusive father.
The more I got to know Olivia, the more I was intrigued by Olivia’s ability to attract drama despite her always seeming to try and avoid it.

The Bonnie and Clyde of school, Jack and Fliss were fatally attracted to each other but instead of supporting each other, they somehow became damage squared. Both struggling to deal with abusive or weak parents, they initially found solace in each other. When Fliss began to flourish and Jack did not, the cocktail became toxic and Fliss unknowingly brought out the worst and most violent version of Jack.
Sarah takes the reader with her with on her journey to experience the wonder, shock, sadness, joy and sheer amazement that she sees every day working with these young superheroes. She's not perfect, neither are they. She finds herself seeing things she should have seen long before and wishing that she could have done things differently; These stories will not fail to touch the heart.

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