This documentary from HBO explores the often-misunderstood world of foster care in the U.S. through compelling stories from the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, the largest county child welfare agency in the country. The documentary mixes firsthand accounts of people navigating the system with insights from social workers, advocates and others, offering a realistic but hopeful perspective on a community that needs society’s support.
FOSTER visits courtrooms, foster homes, juvenile centers, hospitals and the neighborhoods of Los Angeles to tell moving stories of the foster care system in the United States. One literally begins in the cradle, focusing on an infant born to a mother who tests positive for cocaine at the child’s birth.
Elsewhere, the documentary features the accounts of: a teenager who entered the system through tragic circumstances and is on probation for a typical adolescent act that might not have been prosecuted in the case of someone from an intact home; a young woman transitioning to college and independence, who has lived in more homes than she can remember; a former foster child who has overcome her painful past to become a powerful advocate for children; and a foster mother who has provided support to more than 100 children.