From the Cover of Access Denied by Katherine Reddick, Ph.D.:
“Access Denied follows a woman’s lifelong transformation from a small girl escaping a life destined for crime, ignorance, and generational poverty and abuse to a successful adult. Her story grants the reader an insider’s look at America’s foster care system and its impact on a child’s entire life. She shares her real-life experiences through the innocence of childhood to the confused and insecure adolescence to the instability of adulthood. Eventually, her negative experiences are overcome by her persistence to become a well-educated, compassionate adult fighting for the rights of America’s abused and neglected children.
The major themes within Access Denied have specific solutions included at the end of the book, giving every reader the opportunity to join Dr. Reddick’s campaign to save, rather than store America’s foster children. Dr. Reddick’s campaign can be followed at www.saveus2.com or on Facebook.”
Transfiguring Adoption awarded this book 4 Hoots out of 5 based on how useful it will be for a foster/adoptive family. [Learn more about our Hoot grading system here.]
What Our Family Thought:
This memoir provides the most powerful and vital voice in the realm of foster care—that of an individual who has experienced life as a foster child. This book is an eye opener to what children endure daily around our country, especially for those who believe that childhood hunger, human trafficking, abuse in foster care, and such don’t happen here. Readers gain insight into:
- life with a mentally ill parent
- what it’s like being brought to live with strangers
- life in a children’s home
- being ridiculed and bullied by other children
- the instability of bouncing around between parent and state care
- how difficult it is to overcome the damages done by abuse, neglect, caregiver instability, and more!
I recommend this book to anyone caring for foster children in any capacity—foster caregivers, children’s home workers, social workers, judges, teachers, and so on—and those making policies relating to foster care. Katherine Reddick’s experiences and her courage to share them have the power to change hearts and minds and take arguments from a numbers game to a personal story.
There are a number of typos in the book, which is common amongst memoirs or early works of authors. Of these typos, the only that interfere a bit with her story are places where names must have been changed globally and not all names got changed, leaving readers to figure out from context who the author is referring to.
The appendix of the book offers an introduction to Dr. Reddick’s proposed solutions to the major themes in the book: challenges for social workers, mental health issues, abuse within the foster care system, emancipation into adulthood, adoption of foster children, educational changes, the money issue, cautious optimism, and what we can do. More about Dr. Reddick’s proposed solutions and her campaign to change foster care in the United States can be found at www.saveus2.com.
Stay Tuned for Our Interview with the author!
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It’s Your Turn:
- How have your child(ren)’s experiences been similar to those of Dr. Reddick?
- How have your child(ren)’s experiences differed from Dr. Reddick’s?
- What impacted you most from the life of Dr. Reddick and her family?
- What was most shocking to you?
- What did not surprise you?
- What changes do you see need to be made to the foster care system in the United States?
- In what areas do you agree or disagree with the solutions listed in Dr. Reddick’s appendix?
- What will you do to help improve the system?