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Rejected by her mother and excluded by her school, Flip is a little girl desperate to be loved. 'Am I ugly, Mummy?' are the first words that little Phillipa says to Mike and Casey as she stomps into their lives on a hot August afteron. She has a Barbie doll in one hand and a pink vanity case in the other and the bemused Watsons can only stare in amazement at this tiny eight year old girl who is being guided into the room by her social worker. Phillipa, kwn as Flip has Foetal Alcohol Syndrome and life with her single mother has come to an abrupt end after a fire burned the house down. When Casey meets Flip, the child seems remarkably unfazed by what has happened and the thing that seems to worry her is that Casey might find her ugly. Casey has come across children with FAS in her previous job in a high school behaviour unit, but is w realising that fostering Flip is going to be full of challenges which will test her and Mike's skills to the limit.
Casey Watson, who writes under a pseudonym, is a specialist foster carer. She and her husband, Mike, look after children who are particularly troubled or damaged by their past. Before becoming a foster carer Casey was a behaviour manager for her local comprehensive school.