Released On 25th May 2019

Fostering in film – Instant Family review

Fostering in Somerset Team Manager Trevor Goss reviews fostering film ‘Instant Family’

I wasn’t sure what genre to put Hollywood’s take on fostering and adoption in.
Was it a romance? Because it certainly had all the elements; people growing through all sorts of trials and tribulations, learning to love each other?
Was it an adventure? Certainly, the prospective carers went through a series of calamities and challenges before reaching their goal.
In places it was a comedy, where children brought unbelievable joy, but frequently it was also mixed with pathos. When dealing with all sorts of issues most carers would recognise: using food as a weapon, temper tantrums, sexting, teenage angst, poor attachment and low self-esteem, and child sexual exploitation. It verged on being a ‘horror’ film, at least from the carers’ perspective. They in turn faced a gamut of emotions redolent of a rollercoaster.

‘The joy of approval and a ‘honeymoon’ period before reality struck’

The joy of approval and a ‘honeymoon’ period before reality struck. Antagonism from their extended family, before their support became significant in enabling the carers to cope and thrive. Wondering if they are ‘good enough’, wanting to give up, dealing with allegations, contact with birth family and the vagaries of the court system. I liked that the film showed the variety of families who could foster. They be challenge if they arrived at one of our information sessions, but they would certainly be made welcome.

‘What really matters should be the outcomes for the children’

It was disappointing that the film, being set in the USA, illustrated a different approach and process from the British system, and that they made disparaging remarks about time-limited foster carers in the US (“they are doing it for the money”) whereas permanent carers, whether adopters or permanent foster carers were presented in a much more positive light. It was not helpful to comment about how much, or little, money carers in the US receive- what really matters should be the outcomes for the children. Overall, I enjoyed the film and my wife and daughter both had tears in their eyes at the ending (which I won’t give away).

Actually, I probably shed a quick tear too but I’m reluctant to admit that too widely. Do go and see it and pick up one of our flyers in the Taunton Odeon foyer.


If it’s inspired you to foster get in touch with our team here and have a chat!

Fostering in Somerset Team Manager Trevor Goss

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