I just finished reading another Casey Watson fostering memoir.
It’s about an eight year old boy named Spencer. In a very unique circumstance he demanded to be put in care going down to the social services offices. His other siblings seem fine but the parents say Spencer is a nightmare, violen tferal and “born evil” Caswey and Mike are outraged that anyone would say that about any child never mind one who’s eight years old. They’re commited to get this little boy back on track.
On the surface Spencer seems extremely polite and happy. He takes to the behavioral program with it’s system of points. He is very detail oriented about it and from the start Casey can see he has a nack for wanting to cheat the system.
A few weeks in they see the real spencer when they confront him on something minor and he puts a hole in their wall.
He can e easily become very angry and sullen. His basic way of life seems to be about stealing and hurting others with really no explanation as to why. He could behave perfectly at home in the house. Once outside however he is a bully, and clever theif. Things come up missing at the Watson home and are found behind a picture on the wall where he dug a huge hole and was hiding things.
When caught he either seems cocky and proud of what he did or when pushed about consequences cries and begs to be able to stay with the watsons. The constant incidents envolving neighbors houses being broken into, animals being taunted ETC put the Watsons in bad terms with the neighbors.
Some services are put in place to help spencer. Not as much as you’d see in the US I don’t think. Eventually a psychologist is called in after every contact visit ends up with him running away or and a respite stay goes horribly wrong. After a few meetings the psychologist bluntly says Spencer is a sociopath and there’s no cure. Casey is even more saddened and shocked by this hars label being put on a child. She’s more than committed to get to the bottom of his rage and impulsiveness.
After the evaluation he doesn’t have anymore counseling until he hs a support worker. She takes him out swimming and for ice cream and presumably they work on his behaviors. Even Casey thinks it’s like rewarind the child for bad behavior but she relishes the break form him.
The book is one crime discovered after another and at some point you wonder if he’ll ever stop. When the watson’s are at their wits end a truly miraculous event takes place, that turns what was thought about the family dynamics and issues that brought Spencer where he was on it’s head. In the aftermath of this Spencer is able to reevaluate his place in the family. Th ending is hopefully with the knowledge that this will not be an easy road.
I really enjoyed this book. I’ve heard of many other foster families dealing with kids who constantly steal and are aggressive. I still would have thought there would be more in the way of constant services. But every country is different I guess. What was touching was the uncionditional love that Casey and Mike had for spencer. The touching moments not driven by his latest crime really stick with you. It’s clear he’ll always be a part of the watson’s hearts. ,
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