This Short film captures the sadness of children removed from their family and the mental health and medical issues so common to foster care children in America

The Huffington Post  | by  Robbie Couch

“Sometimes someone hurts you so bad, it stops hurting at all. Until something makes you feel again, and then it all comes back: every word, every hurt, every moment.”

Those are the first words spoken in “ReMoved” — a powerful short film, directed by Nathanael Matanick, which exposes both the bleakness and the potential hope that exists within the foster care system.

The story begins with Zoe, a young girl played by actress Abby White, narrating her life with an abusive father and a powerless mother. After authorities remove Zoe from the household, she is passed from home to home, often separated from her younger brother. The story captures the pain and hopelessness foster care children face every day, burdened with the idea that they are unwanted.

“We made ‘ReMoved’ with the desire that it would be used to serve in bringing awareness, encourage, and be useful in foster parent training, and raising up foster parents,” Matanick wrote on Agnostica.com.

On a given day, about 397,000 children are in out-of-home care in the U.S., according to Children’s Rights, an advocacy group that works to reform child welfare systems. A study from the American Academy of Pediatrics found that children under age 5 in foster care are disproportionally affected by developmental delays, while close to 50 percent of all children in foster care have chronic medical issues and up to 80 percent have serious emotional problems.

Recently, attention has been brought to the inefficacy of foster care in the U.S. Last month, a bill that would give homeless teenagers an alternative to foster care and juvenile detention — specialized youth shelters where they’d be taught independent living skills — was proposed in California.

“I am lovable. I am worthy of care,” Zoe says in the final scene of “ReMoved.” “And that glimmer of light — it makes all the difference.”

To purchase “ReMoved” and watch featured extra content, visit the film’s Vimeo page.

2 Comments

  1. Notes from our Linked In Followers;Brenda Speece

    Brenda
    Executive Director at Children’s Homes of Iredell County,Inc.

    After 22 years in the child protection work as a volunteer Guardian Ad Litem and administrator of a residential child caring agency, this depicts what children and youth go through when they are removed “for their well being’ without really looking at what is happening through their eyes. After 22 years the system still reacts instead of impacting what happens to the victims. Focus is always on the money and not the child or children ans what is best. it is always on the adults……your film tells the story of what I have witnessed happen over and over.
    Like (1) Reply privatelyDelete 3 days ago Robin Rider-Osborne likes this

    StreetLight USA
    StreetLight
    StreetLight USA
    Holistic care for sex trafficked girls

    Beautifully done, incredibly powerful. Should be mandatory for all foster care parents, group home and CPS workers.
    Like Reply privatelyDelete 1 day ago
    marta smith
    marta
    marta smith
    Mental Health Counselor Intern at Creative Health Services

    Such a powerful film! Thank you for sharing. I will forward it to fellow staff members.

    For the past 10 years, I have worked with youth in the custody of Children & Youth Services, providing Child Preparation. It is one of the services authorized through the Statewide Adoption & Permanency Network in Pennsylvania. Through helping youth tell their stories- giving them a voice, truly hearing them, honoring their past, helping them gain clarity, helping them begin to understand how they’ve been effected, exploring their desires, promoting their strengths, helping them make connections, and helping them move forward – I have gained tremendous compassion and respect for the youth with whom I’ve worked. I have also become a strong advocate for them. Many have been adopted. Some have been reunified with their birth families. Some have found permanence through kinship or guardianship arrangements. Some have aged out of “the system.” Although not all were success stories, many youth benefitted from the service.

    Foster care continues to have flaws, as so poignantly depicted in the film. Better foster parent training as well as oversight and accountability is crucial. Better understanding of the child’s perspective and how they’ve been effected is paramount.

    There is a strong movement toward understanding and hearing the children. Services through the SWAN program is one. There have also been many advances therapeutically that promote an understanding of the child and encourage a comprehensive approach to meeting these children’s needs. Dr. Bruce Perry, Dr. Besel van Der Kolk, Dr. Margaret Blaustein, Dr. Kristine Kennebaugh, Dr. Dan Siegel, and Dr. John Briere are some of the people at the forefront in effecting change.

    Much more work to be done…I also believe that we can effect positive change and help children who have experienced complex trauma move toward positive futures.
    Like Reply privatelyDelete 10 hours ago
    Charmaine McDonald
    Charmaine
    Charmaine McDonald
    C.E.O. at Literacy For All Human Beings C.C.

    Thanks for sharing. Excellent

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