Parents' Guide to

The Fosters

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Heartwarming drama about foster teens and their two moms.

TV Freeform Drama 2013
The Fosters Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 65 parent reviews

age 7+

Fairly appropriate show

This show has very little swearing, some implied sex but no nudity, lots of positive messages and role models. Since there are police officers in the show guns do come up but not too frequently. The show is about two moms and their foster children. It shows the struggles they face, the positive relationships they build, and their school life. It also covers mental illnesses in a fairly positive manner.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 16+

Sex, drugs, bad behavior, prostitution, disfunction and overwhelming content...all in one show

There are some positive roll models but I think it’s another example of over programing. Don’t let TV teach your kids!

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (65):
Kids say (148):

One of the typical failings of television drama is that the characters sound more like writers trying to make a point than real people just talking to each other, but that's not the case here. The Fosters, a drama built around the idea of a multi-ethnic family created both by birth and adoption, could have so easily have fallen into that trap, with characters mouthing sounds-great slogans about diversity. But it doesn't. The Fosters makes its points without saying a word. The viewers can see for themselves that Stef and Lena are in an interracial lesbian relationship and have adopted kids of other ethnicities; they don't need to say it. Instead, they concentrate on the realistic problems that might befall such a family.

And what problems they are! Mean foster parents, lost bio-parents, divorce and the child welfare system are all in the mix, as well as all the story possibilities that might occur in any show with so many teens (four in one family, all of them gorgeous). Plus, the beachside setting of The Fosters' high school lends a jaunty, vacation-y note to the school drama: This could be the Beverly Hills, 90210 of its time. Only it's way better. Teens and adults can and should watch together; both will find something to enjoy and not much that will make them squirm uncomfortably.

TV Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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