Today I finished reading No Place for Nathan which is a short story written by foster carer and teacher Casey Watson. Casey has written many memoirs dealing with foster parenting exploring the day to day lives of the children she takes under her wing and how they affect her family and gain whatever amount of healing is possible.
Before Casey was a foster parent she taught in a school setting in a department for children who can not handle mainstream education because of behavioral problems. She’s branched out into these teaching memoirs. I personally find her foster care memoirs more compelling and did even ask on her facebook if she’d be continuing to write these memoirs as I didn’t want her to stop. She said she would.
No Place for Nathan is about an eleven year old boy named Nathan. He is brought to Casey’s unit for fighting and anger outbursts. It soon becomes clear that Nathan is a complex person. He often dresses and acts like a girl, Jenny, and ehxibits other behaviors such as sudden angr for no apparent reason when normally he is sweet and cooperative. Throughout the book he matter of factly, as Jennydiscloses horrific incidents of sexual abuse as well as showing signs of physical abuse. The book shows the inadequacy of the social services as the social who has been assigned to the family for a long time claims that there is no abuse or behavioral problems and that Nathan is just attention seeking. It’s only because of Casey and the child protection officer at the schoo Gary’s dedication andmitulous reporting that the case is followed up. The story seems to have an abrupt ending. I wish it would have been a full length book instead of a short story so that Nathan’s psychological problems could be explored in more detail as well as what became of him.
On her website after announcing the short story Casey posts something about DID dissociative identity disorder that she believes Nathan had. Though there’s no reference to it in the story. Over all I wouldn’t recommend this story as one of Casey’s best stories. I think the full length books are more well done. ,