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Kiefer Sutherland’s Proposed Series “Touch” to Feature Key Social Worker Character

Kiefer Sutherland in a scene from "24."

Fox has given the go-ahead for a pilot to be shot of “Touch,” a sci-fi drama starring actor Kiefer Sutherland and a key social worker character, according to news reports. If it is greenlighted, the series could run during the 2011-12 season, reports said.

Sutherland will play Martin Bohm, a father with an autistic son named Jake who can predict future events with numbers. A “plucky and inexperienced” social worker named Clea Hopkins investigates Martin for alleged poor parenting and wants to put Jake in a residential home.

However, when Clea recognizes Jake’s ability to see the future she becomes and ally. According to this article on io9, a Website that tracks sci-fi news, Martin, Jake and Clea will likely work together to prevent future tragedies.

Touch will be the creation of Tim Kring, who created the superhero series “Heroes” that aired on NBC from 2006-2010.

Fox says “Touch” has an extraordinary script. And although the plot does not sound promising io9 said Sutherland, who was popular on Fox’s action drama “24,” could pull this off.

However, SocialWorkersSpeaks.org wants to know what social workers feel about the inclusion of the Clea Hopkins character. It seems her role follows the stereotypical depiction of social workers as “baby stealers.” But is there a chance  Clea Hopkins could depict a social work hero?

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8 Comments

  1. I’m not too excited about seeing Keifer with a gun as this program is discussed. We’ll see, I suppose.

  2. Sadly, in spite of my being a fan of Keifer Sutherland’s work, I am not very hopeful about this created role of a SW for this pilot/series. Why do they already describe her as “plucky and inexperienced”??? What inspired that creative choice??? Could it be because they haven’t consulted with an “experienced” SW to get the needed research to create a more true to life character? Or does making her inexperienced give them the license and the liberty to have her behave in a very “non-social work appropriate” way?? And what exactly is “plucky” anyhow?? Does that mean that she is an empowered strong advocate for her clients? Then if so, I guess most of SW are plucky ;-) SO yes, there is a high likelihood that this will result in more stereotyping us as “baby stealers” but I’m afraid it will also result in yet another very poor image of who we are and what we really do. For all of the consultants that network TV hires (MDs, police, firemen, criminologists, etc) when are they going to finally realize that they need to hire real working experienced SW as consultants for a script that calls for the role of a SW to be included???

  3. I know it is a little off-point but I am so sick of only seeing images in entertainment and media of social workers who work with young children and adolescents. My work is with adults and consequently I never feel represented. I would love to have some show include a great social work character. Grey’s Anatomy… I’m looking at you! Don’t the writers/producers know how many social workers would be all over Seattle Grace Hospital? Perhaps I need to get into the TV/film consulting game :)

  4. The storyline sounds absurd! It sounds to me like they included the social worker as a reality check for this show. Unfortunately, it seems like another Hollywood role that will not depict the real work of a licensed social worker.
    “Plucky” may be just a reference to social workers “plucking” children from their homes…which is the stereotypic Hollywood role for them.
    I will refrain from more comment until I actually view the show.

  5. While this scenario may portray real life situations, I believe it would have been prudent to have real life, experienced and licensed social workers on boards as consultants.

  6. I agree with the comments in reference ohe image of SW and the telivision media. It offends our professon’s image . (The public already doesn’t really understand the importance of our roles in society). Why not portray a SW more like Tyne Daly in”Judging Amy”! She definitely was an advocate for her clients. Plucky is not how our profession needs to be portrayed on Television that is being watched by many across the country.

  7. Agree. Need a REAL consultant. The trivializing of our profession continues. The character is probably inexperienced and plucky so that there will be a romantic story between Keifer Sutherland’s character and the social worker. Tyne Daily’s character, as passionate as she was, did not attract a large audience. There are really no older heroes or heroines these days. Tom Selleck puts in an appearance as the head of a police family but that’s it.

  8. It was extremely painful to watch this character. I think it provides a very poor portrayal of what we do and stand for. She did not seek to understand much, appeared judgemental, unprofessional (no proper risk assessment/assessment) and definitely not respectful…

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