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Troubled past will inspire Social Worker Character on “Touch”

Promotional poster

Clea Hopkins, the social worker who is one of the main characters on the upcoming Fox series “Touch,” has a troubled background that will come to light in earlier episodes, executive producer Carol Barbee said.

“We will start to see her back story,” Barbee told SocialWorkersSpeak.org during a meeting at Culver Studios in Culver City, Calif. “She has grown up in the system – in foster care.”

Clea Hopkins, who is portrayed by actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw, also has a birth mother who suffers from schizophrenia. Her mother’s mental illness, as well as her stint in foster care, is what inspired Hopkins to go into social work, Barbee said.

“Touch,” which stars Kiefer Sutherland, will premiere on March 22 at 9 p.m. Eastern immediately following “American Idol.” Sutherland portrays Martin Bohm, a widower who has mute son Jake (actor David Mazouz) who is obsessed with numbers and cellphones.

Social worker Clea Hopkins (actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw) visits a mute Jake (actor David Mazouz) at his home. Photo courtesy of Fox.

Martin and Clea realize Jake can predict the future and help shape humanity’s destiny. However, Clea must also remain professional and ensure Jake is kept safe no matter what adventures befall him and his father.

In fact Tim Kring, creator of “Touch” and the popular NBC sci-fi series “Heroes” that aired from 2006-2010, told SocialWorkersSpeak.org that an upcoming plotline will follow Martin’s extreme reaction when authorities try to intervene in his son’s care.

“Touch” is a supernatural drama, so should not be expected to follow real-life to the letter. However, writers for the program have shown a willingness to work with the National Association of Social Worker to try to make the depiction more accurate.

“What we are definitely trying to do with Clea is that she is the compassionate caregiver,” Barbee said.

Real-life social workers help children and teens overcome life’s hurdles. To learn more visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” Kids & Families Web site by clicking here.

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