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#AskAMogulAnything:Hi,I'mReginaCalcaterra.I'mthebestsellingauthorofEtchedinSand,whichtellsmystoryofsurvivingchildabuse&thefostercaresystem.Askmeanything!YourquestionswillbeansweredLIVE10/28@1:30pmET.

Regina Calcaterra
Regina Calcaterra New York Times Bestselling Author, 'Etched in Sand'/ Advocate for Foster and Homeless Children
3y New York, NY Conversation

Your questions will be answered on Friday, October 28th at 1:30 pm ET. To ask a question, click here to create a Mogul profile, then post a question in the comment section below!

Hi, I'm Regina Calcaterra. 

I'm the New York Times bestselling author of Etched in Sand, a memoir that explores the devastating impact of growing up in an abusive home and the flaws with the current foster care system. The book appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for 16 weeks during 2013-2014 and returned to the list in 2015.

For the past twenty-eight years, I have spent my managerial and legal career in both the private and public sector. I am a practicing law as a partner in the New York office of Wolf, Haldenstein, Adler, Freeman & Herz and previously served as Deputy General Counsel to the New York State Insurance Fund and Executive Director of two New York State commissions.

Prior to my state appointments, I served as Chief Deputy to the Suffolk County Executive where I managed a county of over 1.6 million residents, a $2.7 billion annual budget and a 9500 employee workforce. 

I am additionally a board member to You Gotta Believe, an organization that works towards finding older foster children forever homes. 

My new book, Girl Unbroken, released earlier this month, is a companion book to Etched in Sand and tells the story of my sister, Rosie, who is also a survivor of child abuse.

Now's your chance to ask me anything! Please write your questions in the comments section below and I'll answer the questions live on Friday, October 28th at 1:30 pm ET. 

34 replies

As a guest user, you can still reply to conversations. Just press the "Reply" button below, which will prompt you to sign in or sign up on Mogul before your Reply posts.

  • Courtney Dercqu
    Courtney Dercqu Content Marketing Strategist & Writer
    3y ago

    Hi there! Your story is very powerful. What are your thoughts on states like NJ removing foster care programs from free standing mental health agencies? Do you think fee for service is going to have an adverse effect on those programs?

    Hi there! Your story is very powerful. What are your thoughts on states like NJ removing foster care programs from free standing mental health agencies? Do you think fee for service is going to have an adverse effect on those programs?

  • Regina Calcaterra
    Regina Calcaterra New York Times Bestselling Author, 'Etched in Sand'/ Advocate for Foster and Homeless Children
    3y ago New York, NY

    Thank you for submitting questions to me via Ask a Mogul Anything. I do hope the answers I provided were helpful and insightful. Time to sign off and I look forward to following this amazing worldwide platform and all of you who contribute to it. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about Etched in Sand or Girl Unbroken by going to my website reginacalcaterra.com and sending me a comment or question. Until next time...

    Thank you for submitting questions to me via Ask a Mogul Anything. I do hope the answers I provided were helpful and insightful. Time to sign off and I look forward to following this amazing worldwide platform and all of you who contribute to it. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about Etched in Sand or Girl Unbroken by going to my website reginacalcaterra.com and sending me a comment or question. Until next time...

  • Kelly Hudson
    3y ago

    What is your opinion about the election and the controversy surrounding both candidates?

    What is your opinion about the election and the controversy surrounding both candidates?

  • Regina Calcaterra
    Regina Calcaterra New York Times Bestselling Author, 'Etched in Sand'/ Advocate for Foster and Homeless Children
    3y ago New York, NY

    I am so thrilled to be joining the Ask A Mogul Anything platform. For the next hour I'll be here live answering your questions - some of which have been posted and others that will be posted during the hour. So now's your time time to ask me anything!

    I am so thrilled to be joining the Ask A Mogul Anything platform. For the next hour I'll be here live answering your questions - some of which have been posted and others that will be posted during the hour. So now's your time time to ask me anything!

  • Kelly Hudson
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    3y ago

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  • Kelly Hudson
    3y ago

    When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

    When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

  • mka
    mka
    3y ago New York, NY, United States

    Hi Regina! Thank you so much for sharing your time :) Sadly, it's not an uncommon news story that a foster child is abused. There was recently a report about a boy discovered in a closet at Echo Park who was entrusted into a foster home that had been flagged high risk four times. What actions would you recommend that the government system take to address poor placement of foster children, as ultimately the state is responsible for placing them in the care regarding the child's best interest?

    Hi Regina! Thank you so much for sharing your time :) Sadly, it's not an uncommon news story that a foster child is abused. There was recently a report about a boy discovered in a closet at Echo Park who was entrusted into a foster home that had been flagged high risk four times. What actions would you recommend that the government system take to address poor placement of foster children, as ultimately the state is responsible for placing them in the care regarding the child's best interest?

  • no_problem
    3y ago

    hi regina i'm in a unstable family situation right now and i'm thinking about dropping out to get my GED and working until I can afford to go to college. is this a realistic idea? your story is inspiring to me...thank you for sharing it.

    hi regina i'm in a unstable family situation right now and i'm thinking about dropping out to get my GED and working until I can afford to go to college. is this a realistic idea? your story is inspiring to me...thank you for sharing it.

    • Regina Calcaterra
      Regina Calcaterra New York Times Bestselling Author, 'Etched in Sand'/ Advocate for Foster and Homeless Children
      3y ago New York, NY

      No_problem: Please do not drop out. As tough as it is at home, you need to just push through. Please keep going on the path you are. Everyday you stay in school is a day closer to your goal. I know sometimes it is hard to just breath or just be, when your home life is unstable, but the sooner you educate yourself, the sooner you can move on from their. You will be 18 anyway, just be sure to be 18 with a high school degree. As far as a college degree, you should consult with a trusted educator or counselor so they can assist you in identifying financial aid opportunities for college. What I hope "no_problem" is that the next time I hear from you - you'll be telling me you stayed in high school and are about to graduate.

      No_problem: Please do not drop out. As tough as it is at home, you need to just push through. Please keep going on the path you are. Everyday you stay in school is a day closer to your goal. I know sometimes it is hard to just breath or just be, when your home life is unstable, but the sooner you educate yourself, the sooner you can move on from their. You will be 18 anyway, just be sure to be 18 with a high school degree. As far as a college degree, you should consult with a trusted educator or counselor so they can assist you in identifying financial aid opportunities for college. What I hope "no_problem" is that the next time I hear from you - you'll be telling me you stayed in high school and are about to graduate.

  • Juli
    Juli 🙀
    3y ago Brooklyn, NY, United States

    What would be your number 1 advice to those young girls and boys who currently live in an abusive home?

    What would be your number 1 advice to those young girls and boys who currently live in an abusive home?

    • Regina Calcaterra
      Regina Calcaterra New York Times Bestselling Author, 'Etched in Sand'/ Advocate for Foster and Homeless Children
      3y ago New York, NY

      Juli, I would tell them that they should speak up and not to fear disclosing what is happening to them because there are a tremendous amount of resources available for abused children. Although speaking up will be difficult, it will get them to a safe place so then can heal from their trauma and learn what a healthy home environment is. They all deserve to be healthy, happy and safe.

      Juli, I would tell them that they should speak up and not to fear disclosing what is happening to them because there are a tremendous amount of resources available for abused children. Although speaking up will be difficult, it will get them to a safe place so then can heal from their trauma and learn what a healthy home environment is. They all deserve to be healthy, happy and safe.

  • Default
    Guest
    3y ago

    What were your favorite books growing up? How do you feel about the shift to digital and the decrease in physical books? I am sad about places like Barnes and Noble not being as common, to be honest. I understand the simplicity and efficiency of having something like a Kindle but there is nothing like holding a real book.

    What were your favorite books growing up? How do you feel about the shift to digital and the decrease in physical books? I am sad about places like Barnes and Noble not being as common, to be honest. I understand the simplicity and efficiency of having something like a Kindle but there is nothing like holding a real book.

    • Regina Calcaterra
      Regina Calcaterra New York Times Bestselling Author, 'Etched in Sand'/ Advocate for Foster and Homeless Children
      3y ago New York, NY

      Amanda, My favorite books growing up were books about historical figures especially Amelia Earhart. And of course being a young girl growing up in America, I read every Judy Blume book I could get a hold of. As far as digital books, most of my readers are digital readers. Like you said it is a more efficient way to read and sometimes e-readers can get better deals on on books than those who like holding actual printed book like.

      Amanda, My favorite books growing up were books about historical figures especially Amelia Earhart. And of course being a young girl growing up in America, I read every Judy Blume book I could get a hold of. As far as digital books, most of my readers are digital readers. Like you said it is a more efficient way to read and sometimes e-readers can get better deals on on books than those who like holding actual printed book like.

  • EthanSingh
    3y ago

    Hi Regina - What's the biggest challenge you've encountered while writing your memoir?

    Hi Regina - What's the biggest challenge you've encountered while writing your memoir?

  • Sarah Fein
    3y ago

    Hi Regina, you are such a gifted writer. Where do you recommend people study writing in college? Or do you recommend minoring in it and majoring in something else?

    Hi Regina, you are such a gifted writer. Where do you recommend people study writing in college? Or do you recommend minoring in it and majoring in something else?

  • Default
    Guest
    3y ago

    How long does it take you to write a book? What writing environment do you prefer? How do you even go about getting an agent to get a book published?

    How long does it take you to write a book? What writing environment do you prefer? How do you even go about getting an agent to get a book published?

    • Regina Calcaterra
      Regina Calcaterra New York Times Bestselling Author, 'Etched in Sand'/ Advocate for Foster and Homeless Children
      3y ago New York, NY

      Erin, It took me several years to write the first 4 chapters of Etched in Sand and 9 months to write the remaining 9. Once I got the book deal from HarperCollins I had to submit the manuscript within 9 months, so the deadline is what helped me write it. For Girl Unbroken, my sister Rosie and I also took about 9 months to write that as well. But with the help of HarperCollins Publishing, we had a talented team of editors to work with to help us submit a inspiring book both times.

      Erin, It took me several years to write the first 4 chapters of Etched in Sand and 9 months to write the remaining 9. Once I got the book deal from HarperCollins I had to submit the manuscript within 9 months, so the deadline is what helped me write it. For Girl Unbroken, my sister Rosie and I also took about 9 months to write that as well. But with the help of HarperCollins Publishing, we had a talented team of editors to work with to help us submit a inspiring book both times.

  • VivianaVizcaino
    VivianaVizcaino Viviana
    3y ago New York, NY, United States

    Hello Regina. Did you have to work to convince your sister to share her story? Was she simply inspired by your bravery? Or was she welcoming to the idea after you introduced it to her?

    Hello Regina. Did you have to work to convince your sister to share her story? Was she simply inspired by your bravery? Or was she welcoming to the idea after you introduced it to her?

    • Regina Calcaterra
      Regina Calcaterra New York Times Bestselling Author, 'Etched in Sand'/ Advocate for Foster and Homeless Children
      3y ago New York, NY

      Hi Viviana, Actually I did not have to convince Rosie to share her story - others did it for me. Ever since Etched in Sand was released in 2013, readers have been inquiring about Rosie's welfare, either via email or social media posts, on book review sites and in person. Then Rosie saw the impact that sharing my story had on others and how many children in need were positively impacted by those around them who read my story. So the combination of others encouraging Rosie to share her story and the possibility that she can also have that same impact on a child in need is what truly motivated her to share her story - which we did together in Girl Unbroken which was just released last week by HarperCollins Publishing/

      Hi Viviana, Actually I did not have to convince Rosie to share her story - others did it for me. Ever since Etched in Sand was released in 2013, readers have been inquiring about Rosie's welfare, either via email or social media posts, on book review sites and in person. Then Rosie saw the impact that sharing my story had on others and how many children in need were positively impacted by those around them who read my story. So the combination of others encouraging Rosie to share her story and the possibility that she can also have that same impact on a child in need is what truly motivated her to share her story - which we did together in Girl Unbroken which was just released last week by HarperCollins Publishing/

  • Bethany Heinrich
    Bethany Heinrich Mogul Influencer
    3y ago New York, NY, United States

    Hi Regina! What's your advice if you are going through writer's block?

    Hi Regina! What's your advice if you are going through writer's block?

    • Regina Calcaterra
      Regina Calcaterra New York Times Bestselling Author, 'Etched in Sand'/ Advocate for Foster and Homeless Children
      3y ago New York, NY

      Bethan, My advice is to just push through it (or glue your pants to the chair so you cannot move). I work full time during the week so the only time I had to write was on weekends. So many weekends I just wanted to do something else beside writing, but I knew that I only had that time to do it. So I'd just sit there and write and many times the first draft was pretty bad, but at least I wrote something and had something to amend and then I'd build from there. You just have to do it.

      Bethan, My advice is to just push through it (or glue your pants to the chair so you cannot move). I work full time during the week so the only time I had to write was on weekends. So many weekends I just wanted to do something else beside writing, but I knew that I only had that time to do it. So I'd just sit there and write and many times the first draft was pretty bad, but at least I wrote something and had something to amend and then I'd build from there. You just have to do it.

  • Lauren Klein
    3y ago

    I am very sorry you had to go through abuse as a child. It's something no one should ever have to experience. What are signs that people should watch for to signify a child is being abused?

    I am very sorry you had to go through abuse as a child. It's something no one should ever have to experience. What are signs that people should watch for to signify a child is being abused?

    • Regina Calcaterra
      Regina Calcaterra New York Times Bestselling Author, 'Etched in Sand'/ Advocate for Foster and Homeless Children
      3y ago New York, NY

      Hello Lauren, Thank you for your critical question. What is important to understand about an abused child is that they are fearful of many things. When a parent abuses their child they also threaten them that if they tell, they will be sent away to a foster home far away from their family. So children will begin fearing foster homes rather than seeing them as places of refuge and safety. So besides looking for the physical signs of abuse you should also monitor how the child responds to questions related to their marks and bruises. They will likely deny that their marks came from a parent, and make up stories that seem unrealistic. They will lie because of their fear of the unknown - they would rather deal with the "devil they know" their abusive parent, then the "devil they do not know" - a foster home.

      Hello Lauren, Thank you for your critical question. What is important to understand about an abused child is that they are fearful of many things. When a parent abuses their child they also threaten them that if they tell, they will be sent away to a foster home far away from their family. So children will begin fearing foster homes rather than seeing them as places of refuge and safety. So besides looking for the physical signs of abuse you should also monitor how the child responds to questions related to their marks and bruises. They will likely deny that their marks came from a parent, and make up stories that seem unrealistic. They will lie because of their fear of the unknown - they would rather deal with the "devil they know" their abusive parent, then the "devil they do not know" - a foster home.

  • booklover423
    3y ago

    Hi Regina - You have such an interesting background - writing, law, government. Do you plan to run for office in the future? What are your thoughts on the direction of the current presidential election?

    Hi Regina - You have such an interesting background - writing, law, government. Do you plan to run for office in the future? What are your thoughts on the direction of the current presidential election?

    • Regina Calcaterra
      Regina Calcaterra New York Times Bestselling Author, 'Etched in Sand'/ Advocate for Foster and Homeless Children
      3y ago New York, NY

      Book Lover: I have worked in and out of government for most of my career and am happily back practicing law in the private sector. Being in the private sector has allowed me the flexibility to travel across country to share my story, and in this way I have been able to help many people and truly think that this is what I should be doing. As far as the presidential election, I am looking forward to it being over with. There are so many important issues that are being ignored and not aired because of the current presidential election. And of course I am looking forward to voting for candidates from the state legislature on up to the President.

      Book Lover: I have worked in and out of government for most of my career and am happily back practicing law in the private sector. Being in the private sector has allowed me the flexibility to travel across country to share my story, and in this way I have been able to help many people and truly think that this is what I should be doing. As far as the presidential election, I am looking forward to it being over with. There are so many important issues that are being ignored and not aired because of the current presidential election. And of course I am looking forward to voting for candidates from the state legislature on up to the President.

  • Sally22
    3y ago

    Hi Regina - your story is so inspiring. You're definitely a success story. How do you think you managed to overcome a childhood filled with so many challenges involving child abuse and the foster care system? Where did you find your inner strength? And what's your advice to other young women who find themselves in abusive situations?

    Hi Regina - your story is so inspiring. You're definitely a success story. How do you think you managed to overcome a childhood filled with so many challenges involving child abuse and the foster care system? Where did you find your inner strength? And what's your advice to other young women who find themselves in abusive situations?

    • Regina Calcaterra
      Regina Calcaterra New York Times Bestselling Author, 'Etched in Sand'/ Advocate for Foster and Homeless Children
      3y ago New York, NY

      Sally, I believe that I was able to overcome the challenges I faced in multiple ways. I fortunately did not have to live my experiences alone, I was surrounded by my siblings. We each helped each other keep our heads above the water and did our best to encourage one another while also trying to survive ourselves. I never felt alone in my darkness and we each tried to light each others path. Another reason I survived was truly impact of many adults in my life, who although they did not know the full extent of my living situation, knew I needed love and encouragement. It was teachers and librarians who encourage me and built up my self worth by telling me I was smart and that I can manage my future if I stay in school and get an education. And it was parents of friends of mine who would invite me to stay with them so I could be safe for a short time and learn what a health home environment was. So I was fortunate to be touched by so many along the way - who collectively built my self confidence, which led to push myself up and out. The advise I would give young women is to speak up, share their story, tell a caring adult. There are so many resources available to them and they deserve to be safe and healthy. I would also tell them that they are not alone, there is a community of survivors that they can rely upon, they are not alone and should never feel ashamed. They have the power to change their lives!

      Sally, I believe that I was able to overcome the challenges I faced in multiple ways. I fortunately did not have to live my experiences alone, I was surrounded by my siblings. We each helped each other keep our heads above the water and did our best to encourage one another while also trying to survive ourselves. I never felt alone in my darkness and we each tried to light each others path. Another reason I survived was truly impact of many adults in my life, who although they did not know the full extent of my living situation, knew I needed love and encouragement. It was teachers and librarians who encourage me and built up my self worth by telling me I was smart and that I can manage my future if I stay in school and get an education. And it was parents of friends of mine who would invite me to stay with them so I could be safe for a short time and learn what a health home environment was. So I was fortunate to be touched by so many along the way - who collectively built my self confidence, which led to push myself up and out. The advise I would give young women is to speak up, share their story, tell a caring adult. There are so many resources available to them and they deserve to be safe and healthy. I would also tell them that they are not alone, there is a community of survivors that they can rely upon, they are not alone and should never feel ashamed. They have the power to change their lives!

  • miranda444
    3y ago

    Also - any advice for aspiring authors? How hard is it to get published? What can or should authors do if they have a book that they want to get published but don't know where to start?

    Also - any advice for aspiring authors? How hard is it to get published? What can or should authors do if they have a book that they want to get published but don't know where to start?

    • Regina Calcaterra
      Regina Calcaterra New York Times Bestselling Author, 'Etched in Sand'/ Advocate for Foster and Homeless Children
      3y ago New York, NY

      Miranda, The best advice I can give to any aspiring author who would like to get their work published is to understand the publishing industry - you have to have a good story to tell but you also need to figure out how to sell it. The publishing industry is a business consisting of many passionate professionals. So they understand when they are presented with great stories, but if they are going to invest in a book, they need a comfort level in that it will sell. So in order to convince a publisher that your story will tell, you need to understand how it will sell, who will buy it and how you can play a role in getting it to sell. Before I received my first book contract from my fabulous publisher HarperCollins - I drafted up a comprehensive book proposal that explained all that. My proposal was based upon the guidance provided by Michael Larsen in his book called "How to Write A Book Proposal." So in order to get a book published by an established publishing house you must act on parallel tracks - write a fantastic story and write it for an audience that you are confident will want to read it. Good luck. I loved writing Etched in Sand and Girl Unbroken - the writing part is truly one of the best parts of an authors journey!

      Miranda, The best advice I can give to any aspiring author who would like to get their work published is to understand the publishing industry - you have to have a good story to tell but you also need to figure out how to sell it. The publishing industry is a business consisting of many passionate professionals. So they understand when they are presented with great stories, but if they are going to invest in a book, they need a comfort level in that it will sell. So in order to convince a publisher that your story will tell, you need to understand how it will sell, who will buy it and how you can play a role in getting it to sell. Before I received my first book contract from my fabulous publisher HarperCollins - I drafted up a comprehensive book proposal that explained all that. My proposal was based upon the guidance provided by Michael Larsen in his book called "How to Write A Book Proposal." So in order to get a book published by an established publishing house you must act on parallel tracks - write a fantastic story and write it for an audience that you are confident will want to read it. Good luck. I loved writing Etched in Sand and Girl Unbroken - the writing part is truly one of the best parts of an authors journey!

  • miranda444
    3y ago

    Hi Regina - What was the hardest part about sharing your story with the world? What's been the most rewarding part?

    Hi Regina - What was the hardest part about sharing your story with the world? What's been the most rewarding part?

    • Regina Calcaterra
      Regina Calcaterra New York Times Bestselling Author, 'Etched in Sand'/ Advocate for Foster and Homeless Children
      3y ago New York, NY

      Miranda, Thank you for writing. The hardest part about sharing my story was to relive what happened to my younger sister and how there was nothing I could do to prevent it. The feeling of powerlessness I had brought me to tears every time I wrote about her (Rosie) in Etched in Sand. But then we decided to write her story together- Girl Unbroken - which although tough for me, it was empowering for her. Another rewarding part of writing was the impact that our stories have had, after reading Etched in Sand readers went out and adopted older foster children, food banks changed their rules to give children food event when unaccompanied by their parents and educators were reminded that no child is a lost cause. Although Rosie's story Girl Unbroken has only been out for ten days she is also hearing similar messages from readers.

      Miranda, Thank you for writing. The hardest part about sharing my story was to relive what happened to my younger sister and how there was nothing I could do to prevent it. The feeling of powerlessness I had brought me to tears every time I wrote about her (Rosie) in Etched in Sand. But then we decided to write her story together- Girl Unbroken - which although tough for me, it was empowering for her. Another rewarding part of writing was the impact that our stories have had, after reading Etched in Sand readers went out and adopted older foster children, food banks changed their rules to give children food event when unaccompanied by their parents and educators were reminded that no child is a lost cause. Although Rosie's story Girl Unbroken has only been out for ten days she is also hearing similar messages from readers.

  • Diane Levine Preisman 22

    I read Etched in Sand, and I am now reading Girl Unbroken. I simply cannot put it down. As a teacher in Suffolk County, I had many foster children in my class but had no idea about how difficult life had been for them. I am now retired and living in Florida. How could I volunteer to help these children?

    I read Etched in Sand, and I am now reading Girl Unbroken. I simply cannot put it down. As a teacher in Suffolk County, I had many foster children in my class but had no idea about how difficult life had been for them. I am now retired and living in Florida. How could I volunteer to help these children?

    • Regina Calcaterra
      Regina Calcaterra New York Times Bestselling Author, 'Etched in Sand'/ Advocate for Foster and Homeless Children
      3y ago New York, NY

      HI Diane, As a teacher you had the opportunity to touch so many lives before you. As you know from Etched in Sand and Girl Unbroken, it was educators that played a significant role it our lives- they filled Rosie and me with confidence that gave us the self-determination to move forward. You certainly did the same for so many children in need before you. You will never know the impact, but please know that you touched them. A perfect volunteer opportunity to work with children in foster care is an organization named Court Appointed Special Advocates - CASA. CASA trains volunteers to be the voice of ONE foster child in the system. In many states children do not have legal representatives, their parents do, the county system does, but they do not. You will be trained to be the representative for that child whenever an issue comes up for them in the courts. No legal or social work background is required. CASA is a fabulous organization that provides that training and has chapters nationwide.

      HI Diane, As a teacher you had the opportunity to touch so many lives before you. As you know from Etched in Sand and Girl Unbroken, it was educators that played a significant role it our lives- they filled Rosie and me with confidence that gave us the self-determination to move forward. You certainly did the same for so many children in need before you. You will never know the impact, but please know that you touched them. A perfect volunteer opportunity to work with children in foster care is an organization named Court Appointed Special Advocates - CASA. CASA trains volunteers to be the voice of ONE foster child in the system. In many states children do not have legal representatives, their parents do, the county system does, but they do not. You will be trained to be the representative for that child whenever an issue comes up for them in the courts. No legal or social work background is required. CASA is a fabulous organization that provides that training and has chapters nationwide.

  • MaryPflumPeterson

    Hi Regina - So great to have you answering questions on Ask A Mogul Anything. Your story is so inspiring. You've been such an advocate when it comes to foster children. What do you want people to most understand about the current foster care system? And what changes would you like to see made to the system?

    Hi Regina - So great to have you answering questions on Ask A Mogul Anything. Your story is so inspiring. You've been such an advocate when it comes to foster children. What do you want people to most understand about the current foster care system? And what changes would you like to see made to the system?

    • Regina Calcaterra
      Regina Calcaterra New York Times Bestselling Author, 'Etched in Sand'/ Advocate for Foster and Homeless Children
      3y ago New York, NY

      Mary, Thank you for inviting me on this amazing worldwide platform - Ask A Mogul Anything! What people should know about foster children is the plight of older foster children. Once a youth turns 18 or 21 (depending on what US state they live in) the are kicked out of their foster home because their foster parents no longer get paid to keep them. So at the young age of 18 or 21 they are pushed out of the system to live on their own with very little resources, if any, and no safe place to put their head down. That is why many of them end up homeless or incarcerated. Through Etched in Sand, readers learned of the plight of older foster children and literally have gone out and adopted them. But it should not take a book to raise this awareness - it should be the child welfare system. Most child welfare system's give an older foster youth "independent living" training before they age out and expect that training to be enough for that youth to survive on their own. But what the child welfare system's should be doing is identifying prospective forever parents for each youth in care. Their are plenty of adults out there, single or coupled, that are interested in being a parent to an older child - I know that because I have volunteered for an organization called You Gotta Believe that works to get older foster children adopted. So the child welfare system should be raising awareness in the community that they serve about the older foster youth that need forever homes and then working with the youth to find the right forever home - because it is never too late for a family!

      Mary, Thank you for inviting me on this amazing worldwide platform - Ask A Mogul Anything! What people should know about foster children is the plight of older foster children. Once a youth turns 18 or 21 (depending on what US state they live in) the are kicked out of their foster home because their foster parents no longer get paid to keep them. So at the young age of 18 or 21 they are pushed out of the system to live on their own with very little resources, if any, and no safe place to put their head down. That is why many of them end up homeless or incarcerated. Through Etched in Sand, readers learned of the plight of older foster children and literally have gone out and adopted them. But it should not take a book to raise this awareness - it should be the child welfare system. Most child welfare system's give an older foster youth "independent living" training before they age out and expect that training to be enough for that youth to survive on their own. But what the child welfare system's should be doing is identifying prospective forever parents for each youth in care. Their are plenty of adults out there, single or coupled, that are interested in being a parent to an older child - I know that because I have volunteered for an organization called You Gotta Believe that works to get older foster children adopted. So the child welfare system should be raising awareness in the community that they serve about the older foster youth that need forever homes and then working with the youth to find the right forever home - because it is never too late for a family!


Regina Calcaterra
New York Times Bestselling Author, 'Etched in Sand'/ Advocate for Foster and Homeless Children

Regina’s memoir Etched in Sand appeared on the New York Times Best Sellers lists for 16 weeks during 2013-14 rising to #2 on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal’s Non-Fiction E-Books Best Sellers list and #6 on the New York Times Non-Fiction Combined Print & E-Books list. Then in 2015, for [...]

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