How I Got Hooked On The Fosters


Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve heard the buzz about the ABC Family show television “The Fosters”. It is currently the second highest show on ABC Family and has been renewed for another season.


I was not impressed with the first couple of episodes. I was left wondering if the show was actually causing more damage to the image of foster care and adoption. Was it creating new stereotypes or reinforcing old stereotypes? I asked myself numerous times “does this make me want to adopt?” With hesitation I decided to watch the entire season as a (fictional) foster care case study.


I don’t care for shows with a lot of drama and chaos. When I watch TV I want to escape harsh realities of our world and bask in happy endings. The drama on the Fosters was over the top – adoption, foster care, abuse, juvenile justice system, divorce, interracial couple, gay marriage, substance abuse, lying, stealing, unprotected sex, underage drinking, rape, undocumented families, social media bullying, death and I could go on. I would literally get anxious as I watched the drama unfold episode after episode. I had that feeling you get when you’re “rubber-necking” as you pass a horrible accident on the highway – you don’t want to look but you can’t turn away. I found myself talking to my television, stomping my feet, waving my fists in the air, crying, and covering my eyes when the episodes became more intense!


Somewhere around episode 4 I was hooked. It wasn’t the drama of the episodes but the powerful foster care “nuggets” the characters shared that got me hooked. I absolutely love Callie’s character but she isn’t the only one whose words I believe made a deep impact on viewers. Here are my favorite quotes:


“I’m already hurt.” – Jude (As Callie warned him that he would get hurt if he continued to get too attached to the fairytale life in the Fosters’ home.)


“DNA doesn’t make you a family. Love does.” – Lena


“I don’t have that much stuff. When you move around a lot you lose stuff or it gets stolen.” – Jude


“You don’t know what it’s like not to be wanted.” – Callie


“This girl is not her file.” – Lena


the fosters


Nicki Sanders, MSW, Chief Visionary Officer

The Teen Toolbox utilizes youth portfolio development and civic engagement and academic empowerment strategies to help teens set goals for life after high school and create a road map to reach those goals through its PACKAGED FOR SUCCESS™ Programs.  We are committed to supporting and raising awareness about the needs and potential of teenagers in the foster care system.


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Comments 2

  • This is a great article. It doesn’t change my disinterest as I believe that it is not a reflection of the values that I want or want to teach my children. I hate that Jennifer Lopez has wanted to normalize same-sex marriage adding that this is the way that families “look” today when, quite honestly she was a part of a “traditional” family.

    I don’t understand why it couldn’t have been a mother and father in the home. There have been foster care shows in the past like this and they were funny without all of the drama.

    Personally, I feel that same-sex marriage is being forced down peoples’ throats, and much like Will & Grace this show is sure to introduce another level of normalcy too. People won’t be able to look away but certainly not because of the foster care.

    This… just my two cents.

    Great article though.

    – Res

    • Res, love your feedback. Thank you for sharing your opinion. Jennifer Lopez stated that her children are not growing up in a traditional family because she is divorced and her ex-husband had children from a previous marriage – that’s neither here nor there, but I don’t have much faith in seeing a “traditional” family on television again. This really is the first TV show that shares the views of foster kids from a foster kids point of view and that that is what has me hooked. I appreciate that I can exhale until it returns in January!

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