TELEVISION / Feedback: Pat Verity, of the National Foster Care Association, on how fostering is depicted on television

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The Independent Culture
'What comes over as so realistic in Growing Pains is what's going on in the actual family. The feelings of the parents' own children - that they are sometimes being overlooked - is what I've seen a lot. And two weeks ago, the wife was agreeing to take another child, just after promising that she wouldn't take anymore, and the father was very frustrated. This is what happens in many situations, men are very often peripheral, fostering is very often the wife's thing. Agencies have tried very hard to bring men into fostering and, in Growing Pains, this also comes out. But it shows the tussles, how fostering can bring fulfilment for one individual in the family but not necessarily for everyone.

'I haven't seen The Lodge, but two of my colleagues have and were very impressed with how fostering was handled.

'The recent series of Taggart was awful. If you think about the classic wicked foster-parent with a Gothic house on top of a dark hill, then that was it. We had a number of people who contacted us to say that this is not how fostering should be portrayed. The Bill on Tuesday, was completely different. The parents simply showed the natural instincts of fosterers.'

(Photograph omitted)