As a social worker who has worked to find families for kids in the public child welfare system – I have to say that the movie Instant Family was not only a refreshingly honest glimpse into the world of foster adoption, but it was also a positive reminder of why we do the work we do.
While the “Hollywood” style portrayals of a wide range of foster parents might seem over the top to those who have not worked within this world, I was able to identify the “TV” version of so many of the families that I have worked with through the years. I particularly appreciated the diversity within the cast and in the portrayal of prospective foster parents, who truly come from all walks of life. This movie was exceptionally well done and was able to shine a light on some of the tough (and very real) parts of older child adoption while still managing to bring humor to the screen!
For all of the foster and adoptive parents out there that are doing this very tough work of parenting older kids that come from tough beginnings, we thank you. For all the days when you want to give up and you don’t we applaud you.
Most importantly, to the children, older youth and teenagers out there who are living in foster care and are survivors of trauma, you are the real heroes in these stories! You are the ones that have the audacity to hope, trust, love and to give adults another try when historically they have not been good to you. We salute and honor you.
If you are local to our area and are looking for something fun to do this coming weekend, we invite you to come out to see the movie and visit our table at the Regal Majestic theatre in Silver Spring from December 7th – 9th where we will be working hard to recruit families for the over 100,000 kids that are awaiting permanency within the public foster care system.
You can also see our Barker pre-movie reel that shares a little bit about Project Wait No Longer, our older child adoption program at the following theatres:
- Courthouse Plaza 8 in Arlington, VA
- Fairfax Corner 14 in Fairfax, VA
- Hoffman 22 in Alexandria, VA
- Majestic Stadium 20 with IMAX in Silver Spring, MD
- Mazza Gallerie 7 in Washington D.C.
- Rockville Center 13 in Rockville, MD
Families of all types, of every race, and of every constellation are needed and welcomed! Let’s come together as a community to take care of our kids.
See below to see what other child welfare professionals are saying about the movie!
“If you have not yet seen Paramount’s “Instant Family” yet, please do! Maybe one or the best mainstream films yet featuring a foster care to adoption family...no sugarcoating...no pathologizing...just keeping it real with some welcomed humor...sooooo, get some family + friends together & give yourselves an edutaining gift during this generous Holiday Season...” Tara Leaman- Westchester County DSS
“This movie is a great reminder that there are no perfect parents, that agencies are not searching for perfection and that all types of people can be perfect parents for children in foster care. Great film for the holidays!” Kamilah Bunn – AEA
“I could not get over how well done this movie was. Truly truly an excellent depiction of some of the tough stuff, and a nice window/peek into the world of foster/adoption while still managing to be funny. I think it should be a must see for all families considering older child adoption.” Saara McEachnie – BAF
“Instant Family serves as one of the most accurate commercial depictions of foster care I’ve seen. The movie addressed the various levels of trauma youth endure when removed from their bio home and entered into care” Binley Taylor - NCCF
Beverly Clarke is the Senior Director of Clinical & Support Services at the Barker Adoption Foundation. She has been a child welfare professional for over 20 years (working in both the public and private sector) and has enjoyed working with Barker for the past 8 years.