HBO Documentary Film FOSTER Comes to California As Part of 10-State Social Impact Screening Tour Hosted by Participant Media
Campaign seeks to accelerate solutions to support children and families in the California foster care system and in communities across the country

Press release

SACRAMENTO – The upcoming documentary FOSTER, presented by Participant Media and Emerson Collective, in association with HBO Documentary Films, is coming to Sacramento on April 9 as part of a special 10-state social impact tour that aims to change perceptions about foster youth and accelerate solutions for children and families in the foster care system. Hosted by Participant Media and the County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA), the screening and following panel discussion will bring California policymakers, including Governor Newsom’s Cabinet Secretary, Ana Matosantos and Becky Beland McNaught, Chief of Staff to the First Partner, as well as advocacy organizations, child welfare agencies and others together to explore the programs, services and policies that can drive change for our community and help families thrive.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 9, 2019, screening begins at 6:00 p.m.; panel to follow immediately after the film

WHERE: Crest Theatre, 1013 K St, Sacramento, CA 95814

WHAT: A special Sacramento screening of the FOSTER documentary and panel discussion focused on programs, policies, services and innovations in the foster care space. The event is part of Participant Media’s 10-state social impact screening tour that aims to ignite action on behalf of foster children and families.


Special Guest Speakers:

  • Ana Matosantos, Cabinet Secretary for Governor Newsom
  • Becky Beland McNaught, Chief of Staff to First Partner, Jennifer Siebel Newsom
  • Jennifer Braun, President and CEO of the Alliance for Children’s Rights

Panel moderated by Daniel Heimpel, president of Fostering Media Connections and publisher of the Chronicle of Social Change

Panelists include:

  • Frank Mecca, executive director of the County Welfare Directors Association
  • Haydée Cuza, executive director of California Youth Connection
  • David Green, social worker and treasurer of SEIU 721
  • Jenny Cheung Marino, firm director of Children’s Law Center of California, Los Angeles


Premiering on HBO on May 7, FOSTER, from Oscar®-winning filmmakers Mark Jonathan Harris and Deborah Oppenheimer, provides a first-hand look at the foster system through those who know it best: the children, youth, parents, and foster parents who experience it, and the professionals who work tirelessly every day in the field. With extraordinary access to the inner workings of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, the film goes beyond headlines and stereotypes to take an unprecedented look at an often-misunderstood world and upend some of our most enduring myths about foster care and those it serves.

“Our members are thrilled to present this early screening of a documentary that is an honest and moving depiction of different facets of the child welfare system in California and the real-time human impacts,” said Frank Mecca, executive director of the County Welfare Directors Association. “California is amid the largest overhaul of its foster care system, so this film and following panel discussion couldn’t come at a better time as lawmakers and the new Administration continue to build on Continuum of Care Reform.”

Through its social impact campaign, Participant Media aims to shift perceptions of foster youth from “those children” to “our children,” while also giving advocates across the country a platform to champion meaningful change for the foster care system — an issue that too often flies under the radar.

In the U.S., 1 in 8 children suffer a combined case of neglect or abuse by the time they are 18 years old. More than 400,000 of these children and youth are in the foster care system, and that number continues to rise. By investing in solutions that strengthen families and support preventative solutions, we can start to chart a new course for America’s foster youth.