Book review: The wild child:A Casey Watson short story

Casey Watson, who is a UK based foster parent writes both short stories and longer novels about her experiences of fostering. Last night I finished one of her short stories caled the wild child.
This book is about 8 year old Connor. Casey is asked to take Connor just for a weekend. Connor has attacked a social worker at the care home he is in with an iron bar. He is also said to be street wise, violent, and at first Casey isnt sure what she should do. She already has Tyler, another foster child who she has adopted. However she asks both Tyler and her husband Mike if they are ok about taking Connor and they both agree. Casey is wondering how bad could he actually be? He’s 8 years old after all. The agency send her over some of his records. She reads them and her heart goes out to connor. He’s had a terrible past, his father was a criminal and was in and out of prison. His mother left when he was five, taking her two older children but not Connor. He went to a childrens care home when he was just five years old. He’s had numerous foster care placements all of which never lasted long due to his behaviour. Connor arrives in a prison type security van, and when he arrives he seems like a sweet boy. He goes upstairs with Tyler to play Xbox while Casey makes lunch. Upon bringing lunch to the boys Casey overhears a conversation where Connor is trying to get Tyler to look at porn. She tells him sharply that he will have to eat lunch with her downstairs and at first Connor flips out and calls her a bunch of names. But eventually he does what she tells him. After lunch Casey decides to take the boys to an indoor play area. While they are there Connor acts out and Casey is again faced with his challenging behaviour. Eventually they leave and go home. Casey reprimands Connor and he isnt very happy. Casey is settling in for a nice peaceful Saturday night when Connor decides to try to run away back to his dad. He escapes out of his bedroom window and runs up the street with Mike chasing him. He manages to get away and Casey calls the police and her foster care agency. Mike and Tyler go looking for him for an hour. Eventually a neighbour brings him back to Caseys house. Casey settles him and they all go to bed. One mroe day of this, Casey thinks. On Sunday they go out to the country for a picnic. While they are out Connor pushes Tyler into the river bugt says its an accident. He apologises and they continue their day. That night Casey is awakened to hear Tyler crying. When she asks him what is wrong she finds out that Connor has been saying things to him like how he will play Casey and her husband and get them to like him and keep him and get rid of Tyler. Casey is horrified and not for the first time she thinks that Connor may be a sociopath. He has all the signs of it in his behaviour. She had been thinking about keeping him for a while longer so that he wouldnt have to go to a secure unit. She had sent an email to the agency to say she would do that but then when Tyler comes forward with the information she is shocked and decides she needs to put Tyler first because after all he is their priority. But the decision of where connor will be placed is taken out of Caseys hands. At 7:30 on Monday morning John their link worker comes to their door. He has come to pick Connor up and take him to a secure unit in Kent. Connor at first doesnt want to go but then he resorts again to his bad behaviour calling casey and her husband losers and saying he never wanted to stay there in the first place. The book ends with him going to the secure unit and we do not find out what became of him. However Casey is left with the reminder that she is not super woman and she cant save every child that comes to her. It was a good book. I really liked it and I like the style of writing in the book. I’d highly recommend it to foster parents, social workers, or anyone who likes true stories or stories about children in foster care.