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NASW asks for larger role for “The Fosters” social worker

Actor Geofrrey Rivas portrays social worker Bill on ABC Family's "The Fosters."

Actor Geofrrey Rivas portrays social worker Bill on ABC Family’s “The Fosters.”

Actor Geoffrey Rivas, who portrays social worker Bill on ABC Family’s “The Fosters,” asked social workers to write the show to encourage producers to give the character a larger role.

National Association of Social Workers CEO Angelo McClain this week sent this letter to the network in support of the character:

ABC Family Producers:

As you know, social workers play a key role in helping create new families for children through adoption, find foster homes for children who need care and protection, and work to reunite children with their families whenever possible.

The National Association of Social Workers is thrilled ABC Family is focusing on these important issues through “The Fosters,” and that you have created a positive social work role within the program. Social workers who do this extremely difficult work seldom receive any recognition.

We hope in weeks ahead, and if you are renewed for a second season, you will feature more of social worker Bill, who is portrayed by actor Geoffrey Rivas. Bill could play a crucial role in helping the Fosters integrate their foster children into the family and help the parents cope with many of the issues the children are facing, including dealing with past trauma, reconnecting with birth parents, and living in a diverse household.

We commend you for the way you have handled these sensitive and complex issues in storylines and through characters.

NASW stands ready to support “The Fosters” by encouraging our members to watch and are happy to make available child welfare experts who can offer suggestions and advice regarding intra- and interpersonal dynamics that impact children and families confronted with these realities.

Again, thank you for focusing on this important issue.

Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW

NASW Chief Executive Officer

Social workers help find foster families for children whose parents can longer care for them. They also help children form new families through adoption. To learn more visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” Adoptions and Foster Care website.
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