The true short story of foster carer Maggie Hartley and a neglected and traumatised little girl who blames herself for the death of her baby brother
Foster carer Maggie Hartley is used to receiving placements at short notice, but the arrival of seven-year-old Paris sees her handling one of her most heart-breaking cases yet.
Paris arrives at Maggie's house with the police, after the traumatised little girl is found wandering the streets alone, sobbing that she can't wake up her baby brother. When the police eventually discover where Paris lives, they make a shocking discovery: her mum and stepdad are in a heroin-induced coma, and it's too late to save five-month-old baby Joel.
Paris is convinced it's all her fault but slowly, through love and care, she begins to open up to Maggie and reveals the horrendous neglect and abuse she and her brother endured. Maggie is stunned to discover that Paris knows exactly how to make a bottle and change a nappy, and it soon becomes clear that this little girl was forced to shoulder the responsibility of looking after her baby brother singlehandedly.
With both parents on remand in prison and charged with neglect, Maggie must slowly try to break down the wall of guilt surrounding this damaged little girl and help her heal from the trauma of her brother's death.
Maggie Hartley has fostered more than 300 children while being a foster carer for over twenty years. Taking on the children other carers often can't cope with, Maggie helps children that are deemed 'unadoptable' because of their behaviour or the extreme trauma that 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.