Dawn was the first child Cathy Glass' ever fostered. A sweet and seemingly well balanced girl‚ but her outward appearance masks a traumatic childhood so awful‚ that even Dawn cannot remember it.
During the first night‚ Cathy awakes to see Dawn looming above Cathy's baby's cot‚ her eyes staring and blank. She sleepwalks - which Cathy learns is often a manifestation in disturbed children. It becomes a regular and frightening occurrence‚ and Cathy is horrified to find Dawn lighting a match whilst mumbling It's not my fault in her sleep one night.
Cathy discovers Dawn is playing truant from school‚ and struggling to make friends. More worryingly she finds her room empty one night‚ and her pillow covered in blood. Dawn has been self-harming in order to release the pain of her past.
When Dawn attempts suicide‚ Cathy realises that she needs more help than she can give. Dawn's mother eventually confides in her that Dawn was sent away to relatives in Ireland between the ages of 5 and 9‚ and came back very disturbed. She also sheds light on the reason for Dawn's fascination with matches and Cathy's baby.
Eventually Dawn is placed in a psychiatric home for children‚ and five years later she gets in touch with Cathy. She has been reconciled with her mother and is now training to become a teacher.