Foster Care Representation

Foster Care Representation image

Foster Care Representation

Have you noticed how much representation foster care is getting lately? Especially, in mainstream television and movies? Recently, talking with a beloved co-worker about how so many television shows and movies have been taking on the topic of fostering and adoption. Apparently, we are “hot” right now! There are too many to list them all, but here are just a couple in the past year or so that are on my radar This Is Us, Instant Family, Legion, The Passage, The Gifted and even Shameless. (I know Shameless, who would have ever thought, but take a step back and we will see this show is a great representation of what a lot of our kiddos chaos is really like. The latest season ending March 2019, is the show’s fourth mention of foster care over all, Kudos to them!).

I have had great joy in commemorating with so many of us like minding folx who are in “this world” the fostering world that is, what they have gotten right. I cringed when in This is Us, Deja’s Bio Mom showed up at Randall and Beth’s fancy suburban house that is at least an hour outside of the city drive time on google maps let alone in reality—I have seen so many kiddos just wish that their bio parents would just show up to visitation period, put in some effort at all (I realize this is not a fair statement to ALL parents, only some there are valid reasons for some of those some who are not able to make it to visitations). But they do a lot of other things really well, I truly do appreciate the representation of the fostering of a young teen girl in the home. That my friends, makes people think! Makes people think a lot more than some of the other representations we have previously had of young, African-American teens in foster care previously on television. Deja is currently on the show wanting to be skipped grades due to her academic success-but she emphatically notes that this is the first time she has ever had stability in her life-the first time she has ever had the same things happen when she gets home from school, the same people, the same routine. These things—are the ones this show is getting so right. It also helps us, y’all—when we talk about our kids, it helps us fight those people who say our kids in care are bad.

They, whomever “they” may want to be, they want our kids to be bad. Especially the teens, they can never see that they are just the little bit bigger version of those same little kids. They don’t want to see that like Deja, they are smart—they need structure and consistency. They need families and someone to do THE SAME THING DAY AFTER DAY AFTER DAY..until they know what to expect in their heart and head…But did you know out of the almost 10,000 (9,786 to be exact) kids we have in the Kentucky Foster Care System as of March 15, 2019 there are only 13 in the Department of Juvenile Justice? And guess what, even those kids aren’t bad either.

My point friends, we have some great talking points here from our friends out in Hollywood/Hollyweird. They are finally showing folx more than just one narrative, they are showing so many and it’s about time. Let’s use it to help others #befosteraware.


Amanda Sowers

NBFS Recruiter/Trainer – Richmond Office