‘Instant Family’ movie draws potential foster caregivers

NILES — Hoping to get foster caregivers for children in their care, Trumbull County Children Services officials hosted a special caregivers night Wednesday at Regal Cinema in Niles, which is showing the movie “Instant Family” — a comedy-drama about foster care.

Megan Martin, senior supervisor for foster care and adoption, said the meet-and-greet event was held for prospective foster parents to present them information on programs as well provide an early-screening of the movie.

She said about 50 Trumbull County residents interested in fostering and adopting attended. This is the first time the agency has held such an event at a movie theater, but noted the film relates to what services they provide to families.

Martin said the movie is a true story by writer / director Sean Anders and his wife, Beth, whose lives were changed in 2012 when they brought a sibling group of three foster children into their home. In 2013, they officially went through the adoption process.

“It tells what he went through to adopt his children through the foster care system,” Martin explained.

Stacy Ferencik, community liaison / recruitment specialist, said the Anders waited a little later in life to start a family and decided to foster and adopt.

“The movie shows their real-life experiences and the ins-and-outs of their adventure of having foster children. We hope the movie has a push for the need for foster care,” she said.

Dee Dee Prezisio, supervisor of foster care, said there will be informational tables Friday through Sunday at each showing of the movie, which features actors Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne.

Martin said there are 140 children, ages infant to 18, in foster care through Children Services and 25 percent are placed outside of the county. She said there is a need for fostering and adopting older children.

Tayler Kundel of Warren said she and Taylor Kundel-Gower, as a gay couple, would like to have a family.

“I feel there is a strong need for people to foster and adopt during the opioid problem where families are apart. I want to help children needing a home. I just heard about the movie and wanted to see it,” Kundel said.

Kundel-Gower said they would like to have a family and have looked at adoption.

“I have always wanted children,” she said.

Many who already have fostered and adopted also attended Wednesday and shared their stories.

Carrie Braun of Warren, a current foster parent, said her mother always wanted to foster, but she was raising five children so it didn’t happen.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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