Watch any of these titles and include a brief summary in the notes section of Optima for 2 hours of in-service training.
Feature Films (available at the CASA office)
*New* Instant Family (also currently streaming on Amazon Prime)
Inspired by a true story, Pete and Ellie dive head-first into instant parenthood when their decision to become foster parents lands them with, not one, but three children to care for. Hilarious and heartwarming, this film is a must-see.
*New* Ben Is Back
“Nineteen-year-old Ben Burns unexpectedly returns to his family's suburban home on Christmas Eve. Ben's mom, Holly, is relieved and welcoming but wary of her son's drug addiction. Over a turbulent 24 hours, new truths are revealed, and a mother's undying love gets put to the test as Holly does everything in her power to keep Ben clean.”
*New* The Glass Castle
Based on Jeanette Walls’ best-selling memoir, this film follows Jeanette as she learns to navigate life with her dysfunctional family. Her eccentric parents, who love their children and encourage them to reach for the stars, do not always know how to care for them.
*New* Short Term 12
An unconventional love story, this film follows Gracie and Mason, a young couple who lead a group home for troubled teens. When a new girl arrives at the facility with issues all too familiar, Gracie must come to terms with her own troubled past and find a way to move forward.
From Place to Place
Two teens who have recently aged out of foster care face the struggles of life with little support beyond their social worker.
I Love You Mom: Please Don't Break My Heart
A child was tortured by his parents, locked in a shed, paralyzed by drugs and abused by institutions for years, and no one came to his rescue. Based on a true story.
The Blind Side
A homeless teen is taken in by an unlikely family and grows into a top-tier football player. Based on a true story.
Precious Jones, an inner-city high school girl, is illiterate, overweight, and pregnant, but luckily a door of hope is opened by an alternative school teacher.
A 17-year old girl must track down her dead-beat dad to ensure she can keep her home and the custody of her siblings.
A social worker adopts an abandoned baby whose drug-addicted mother becomes determined to reclaim her child years later.
I Am Sam
A mentally challenged father enlists the aid of a high-powered attorney to help him regain custody of his daughter.
A mother is jailed for the murder of her lover but still controls the life of her 15-year old daughter, who struggles to navigate life between multiple foster homes and her mother's manipulations.
A kidnapped mother and son make a daring escape and experience a dramatic homecoming.
A lonely science-fiction writer adopts a boy who claims to be from Mars, and he discovers that being a parent means anything is possible.
Films to stream online
Hillbilly Elegy (currently streaming on Netflix)
"An urgent phone call pulls a Yale Law student back to his Ohio hometown, where he reflects on three generations of family history and his own future." J.D. Vance's bestselling memoir is also available in the CASA office.
Foster (currently streaming on HBO)
Helena CASA was thrilled to take part in one of the first viewing events of this beautiful, moving documentary about life in the child welfare system. The film follows the stories of several individuals and their experiences with the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services; the largest county child welfare agency in the U.S.
Beautiful Boy (currently streaming on Amazon Prime)
Based on the best-selling memoirs of father and son duo, David and Nic Sheff this film is a beautiful narrative about Nic’s battle with drug addiction and the toll it takes on his family. Troubling and heartwarming at the same time, the film marries Beautiful Boy and Tweak into a tale that is both colorful and truthful.
Manchester by the Sea (currently streaming on Amazon Prime)
When his brother dies and he is made sole guardian of his teenage nephew, Lee Chandler reluctantly returns to the community that he left many years before. Here, Lee not only faces new challenges of caring for his grieving nephew, but he must confront a painful past that caused his marriage and life in Manchester to change.