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Behind the scenes of Katherine Reddick’s new book, Access Denied


reddick-book-coverThis is Reno contributor asked author Katherine Reddick, PhD, organizational psychologist, about her new book, Access Denied. After Reddick wrote a scathing obituary celebrating the death of her abusive mother, the obituary went viral. This book gives deeper insight into her life growing up in foster case and her goals of reforming the foster care system.

Q: Are you originally from Reno?
A: No, I was born in Calif. I lived at the Nevada State Children’s Home in Carson City from 1964 to 1974.

Q: Describe your book in 3 words.
I will use words from the Amazon reviews:  incredible, important, powerful

Q: Do you have a link to the original obituary? And is it in the book?  
The obituary is in the book or it can be viewed using the internet.

Q: You grew up in foster care, can you explain more about “aging out of the system”? Do you have personal experience with this?
A: Aging out of the system is only one issue that needs improvement within the foster care system. However, in this one area they have made advancement, but it continues to be an area of concern.  When I was in the system we counted down the days before our eighteenth birthday because it was our “day of freedom” from the prison-like atmosphere we lived with at the children’s home.   The day you turned eighteen you needed to leave whether you finished high school or not.

The day I left, I had less than $20 and everything I owned in one box.  I went to the office where the social worker released me and I walked away.  At least I was able to find a box, most left with everything in a black garbage bag.  I was lucky, I had friends who took me in.  Most hitchhiked out of town and were never seen or heard from again unless we received word that they were in prison or experienced another sort of tragedy.  Some boys enlisted in the military, but the girls had limited options (work in the brothels, become a hotel maid, or find someone to marry).

Today, I understand there is limited assistance, but better than it used to be.  The problem I outline in my book is that they still leave without a high school diploma or job training in a career that pays a living wage.  Many of these issues are addressed in the book with solutions at the end of the book in the Appendix (Themes in Access Denied).  This is a very important section in the book, I hope you will read it.

Q: What can people do to help make the foster care system better?
A: Specific answers are provided in the same section of the book.  However, I want people to create a movement to save America’s foster children with as much vigor and commitment as they display for animal rights in America.  My website for communications and further discussions is www.Saveus2.com. If anyone wants to communicate with me, I will be happy to consult, answer questions, or help them create a local movement to “save” rather than “store” America’s foster children.

Q: When does your book come out and how can people purchase it?
A: My book is available now.  Amazon and other book retailers have it in hardback and ebooks, the paperback will be out around July 1.  If local bookstores don’t have it yet, ask them to order it from their supplier.

Erin Meyering
Erin Meyering
Erin Meyering is the Communications Specialist at Carson Tahoe Health. She previously worked as the Associate Editor of edible Reno-Tahoe magazine. After graduating from the Reynolds School of Journalism in 2014, she avidly pursued making writing and designing her career. On top area freelancing, she enjoys spending time doing yoga and hiking with her 75-lb lab/boxer mix, Biscotti.