In one of the toughest cases of her career, Maggie Hartley is forced to fight against the very system she is part of to get three vulnerable siblings returned to her care.
When Maggie's latest placement arrives on her doorstep, the three young siblings have clearly been through unspeakable traumas in their short lives. Violent, malnourished and showing signs of sexualised behaviour, the two brothers and their big sister have been left to fend for themselves by their drug-addicted parents. Maggie must use all of her skills and experience as a foster carer to help these damaged siblings to learn to be children again. With much love, care and patience, their behaviour gradually starts to improve and social services start looking for a forever family for them.
But alarm bells start to ring when Maggie meets the couple who have been matched to adopt the siblings. It is clear that they're looking for the perfect, ready-made family, and they're not going to get it with these vulnerable brothers and sister. Despite raising her concerns with social services, Maggie is powerless to prevent the adoption from going ahead and she must put aside her own fears to help the siblings settle in with their new parents. But she can't shake the feeling of dread as she waves them goodbye.
Six months later, Maggie's worst nightmares come true when she learns that the children have been handed back to the care of social services following the breakdown of the adoption. Maggie must fight to get the children returned to her, but is it too late to undo the damage that has been done?
Maggie Hartley has fostered more than 300 children while being a foster carer for over twenty years. Taking on the children other carers often couldn't cope with, Maggie helps children that are deemed 'unadoptable' because of their behaviour or the extreme trauma they've been through. She's looked after refugees, supported children through sexual abuse and violence court cases, cared for teenagers on remand and taught young mums how to parent their newborn babies.