Foster care TV shows are definitely not the place to find tips for foster parents, or accurate information about the foster care system. In fact, there are many problems with Foster Care TV Shows, that even though they bring awareness and normalize foster care, they may cause some issues.
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Problems with Foster Care TV Shows
There has been a recent trend of foster care TV shows, such as “The Fosters” and “Greek.” While these shows may raise awareness about foster care and the issues faced by foster children, they also have the potential to do more harm than good.
You’ve seen the shows. Maybe you’ve even binge-watched a few of them. But have you ever wondered what they don’t show you? The foster care system is complicated and nuanced, and TV definitely doesn’t do it justice. Let’s take a look at a few things that these shows tend to gloss over.
An Unrealistic Picture of Foster Care
While these shows may be well-intentioned, they often gloss over the many problems that foster children and foster families face on a daily basis. These problems include trauma, mental health issues, and behavioral problems. Moreover, foster children are often moved around from home to home, which can disrupt their schooling and social lives. Furthermore, the foster care system is underfunded and overburdened, which can lead to even more problems for foster children and families. As a result, these TV shows often present a very unrealistic picture of foster care.
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The Experiences of Foster Parents
TV would have you believe that all foster parents are saintly angels who selflessly open up their hearts and homes to kids in need. While there are certainly some amazing people doing great work as foster parents, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. Being a foster parent can be really tough, both emotionally and practically. These shows don’t usually talk about the difficult parts of fostering, which can make it seem like something that’s unattainable for regular people.
Only Happy Endings
Finally, foster care TV shows typically have very happy endings, with the child being adopted by a loving family. While this may be the case for some children, it is not always the reality. In fact, many foster children never find a permanent home and end up bouncing from home to home their entire lives. For these reasons, it is important to be critical of foster care TV shows and to remember that they are not always an accurate portrayal of reality.
Child Protective Services
One of the first things that these shows don’t talk about is Child Protective Services (CPS). CPS is the government agency responsible for investigating reports of abuse or neglect. In some cases, they may remove children from their homes if they believe that the children are in danger. While CPS definitely has its flaws, it’s an important player in the foster care system.
The Reality of “The System”
These shows make it look like there’s one big, faceless system that everyone involved just has to deal with. In reality, though, the foster care system is made up of a lot of different people and organizations, all working together (or not) to try to help kids in need. There are dozens of state and federal agencies involved, as well as private organizations and businesses. It can be confusing and overwhelming, even for people who work in the field!
While TV shows can be entertaining, they’re not always accurate. When it comes to portrayals of the foster care system, there are definitely some things that these shows leave out. From Child Protective Services to the realities of being a foster parent, there’s more to the story than meets the eye.
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