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Depicting Foster Care
Foster Care Children Are Not Abnormal

Normalize Foster Care through
Accurate Depictions.

Assumptions and stereotypes about children in foster care can often lead to negative consequences for the child later in life. 

Here is the reality: 
Foster children, just like many others, have enormous potential to thrive given love, patience, and a stable environment. Just ask U.S. Senator Ben "Nighthorse" Campbell, Minnesota Viking Dante Culpepper, Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, or Miss USA 2000 Lynette Cole. They were all once foster children who were adopted by caring adults.

Accurate depictions concerning foster care can provide an opportunity for audiences to understand how they can connect with these children and know the impact they can make, whether they represent the basketball coach or the teacher at school, the foster parent, the adoptive parent or the foster child. Remember the following as you explore characters and story lines that could involve foster care:

--  There are great opportunities to portray success 
stories. Consider portraying foster care graduates as successful main characters or heroes in story lines by positioning foster care as just one element of the character's story. 

--  Oftentimes, children in the foster care system are perceived as having behavioral issues. Consider dispelling this myth by portraying individuals in foster care as normal children who may act out simply because they are teenagers..

--  There is a preconceived notion that if birth parents were drug addicts or had behavioral issues that their children will also act out in a "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" scenario. Consider portraying success stories where that apple can develop into sweet apple pie or apple cider so-to-speak.

Can foster parents adopt a foster child?

Yes, at times. If it is determined that a young person cannot return home, foster parents can play an instrumental role in whatever permanent plan is best for that child. Every child needs a lifelong, permanent family. The first priority in nearly every case is to work with the child's birth family to resolve the issues that brought the child into care quickly, so the child can return home. When this is not possible, adoption is often the next most appropriate permanency option.  When adoption is being considered for a child in foster care, the foster parents are among the first resources considered. This is because they have established a relationship and some attachments to the child. Of the children in foster care who are adopted, the largest portion of those children are adopted by their foster parents

Portions of this newsletter
adapted from

Picture This: Foster Care

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