SFH Reviews: Three Films about Foster Care You Must Watch

By Iman Seraaj-Blanche
Seraaj Family Homes, Inc.

There have been several movies over the years that have put a spotlight on foster care and social service, and I’m here to recommend a few of my favorites. Whether you’re interested in learning more about the foster care system or social services; or just looking for a great movie to watch with friends or family, these movies hit the mark! Watch the trailers at the end of each section and see for yourself. Maybe you’ve already seen them or maybe you haven’t, but they definitely deserve a look or two or three.


Let’s face it, when thinking about foster care the last thing that comes to mind is comedy. But that’s exactly what director Jim Field Smith gives you with “Butter”. It’s the story of an orphaned girl who finds out that she has a talent for art. With any story that involves foster children, there is always that underlining heartache and sadness; the child has lost their parents and is being moved from place to place. Jim Smith tackles this subject masterfully with layers of truth and humor, from the character Destiny being told she’s nothing in one foster home to being placed with two loving people who try and fail at doing her hair. “Butter” is a little movie with some big names, including Jennifer Garner, Ty Burrell, Alicia Silverstone, Hugh Jackman, and a darling performance by Yara Shahidi. Rated R for language and sexual content, “Butter” is a feel good movie for any adult, and reminds us all that any child can shine and prosper in the right environment with the right people.  You can currently watch “Butter” on Netflix or rent it at any Red Box. http://youtu.be/Chf0ze80F3w


I know what you’re thinking, “What does a Disney movie about an alien in Hawaii have to do with foster care?” Well look again, my friend. The backdrop of this funny, action-packed animated film is a story of two orphaned sisters. Nani, the eldest, becomes her little sister Lilo’s guardian after the death of their parents. Before Lilo meets Stitch, she and Nani are in danger of being separated by social services. “Lilo and Stitch” showcases many truths about the nature of social services. You have a young guardian who is trying the best she can to raise her sister and a social worker who’s just doing his job the best way he knows how. Like Nani, many guardians just need services to help them stay afloat while caring for young children. The film is also a gentile way of discussing feelings of loneliness and fear after a child loses their parents or is separated from their families. Rated G, this is a film for the whole family and is available on Netflix.



This film was initially released in January 2013 to a limited number of theaters. “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete” is a powerful film about two boys, who both are abandoned by their mothers, trying to doge the police and social services, and avoid the dangers of their inner city neighborhood. “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete”, hearkens a long held disposition about foster care that many people are working hard to dissuade. Often heart-wrenching at times, the film showcases some wonderful acting by newcomers Skylan Brooks (Mister) and Ethan Dizon (Pete). The film also stars Jennifer Hudson, Jeffery Wright, Jordin Sparks and Anthony Mackie. This film is rated R for language, drug use and sexual content.