Foster Family Viewer’s Guide To Sound of Hope: The Story Of Possum Trot


As a movement partner for Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot, we’re encouraging as many people as possible to see this important film. 

We’ve received a number of inquiries from foster parents asking if the film is appropriate for kids who have experienced foster care. Ultimately it’s up to the foster parents to make a decision that is best for the young person in their care. 

We created this foster family’s viewer’s guide based on feedback from our staff and others with foster care experience who have pre-screened the film.


Sound of Hope: A Possum Trot Story” is a powerful, hopeful, yet true-to-life story about the hard realities of foster care. 

The film is rate PG-13 for thematic material involving child abuse, some violence, language and brief suggestive material. These difficult themes might be triggering for some viewers with personal experience in foster care or related trauma.

Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot, follows Donna and Reverend Martin as they ignite a fire in the hearts of their rural church to embrace kids in the foster system that nobody else would take. By doing the impossible–adopting 77 children–this East Texas community proved that, with real, determined love, the battle for America’s most vulnerable can be won.

Viewer Feedback

Melissa (Former Foster Youth and Therapist): Melissa found the film triggering as a former foster youth, despite being an adult. She emphasized the importance of debriefing, and not recommending it for children who struggle with attachment or have negative feelings about foster care.

Britt (Adoptee and Staff at Colorado Kids Belong): Britt suggests that families discuss potential triggers beforehand and consult mental health professionals if needed. She did not experience triggers due to prior therapy, but acknowledged the potential for others to be affected.

Hannah (Indiana Kids Belong Staff): Hannah highlighted specific triggering scenes and recommended careful discretion, suggesting the film is more suitable for adults or older teens who can process the content with a safe adult.

– Rebecca (Georgia Kids Belong Staff): This film is a rallying cry about foster care, adoption and the power of community ,joining forces to serve vulnerable children. Most who see it will be challenged to consider entering the fight for kids in the system. I hope many will go to the theater to see it, learn, and support the message.

Though I highly recommend this movie, before you go, know it’s powerful and impactful because it’s also piercing and raw. It goes to the hard places with depictions of the most profoundly traumatic moments in a child in care’s life, from images of their neglect and abuse –  to police knocking down doors during violent episodes between parents – to the fearful car rides to foster homes –  to the aftershocks of heartache, shame, and unbridled grief. The film doesn’t allow you to look away.

Viewer Guidelines For Foster Families

1. Age Consideration: Our viewers recommended that young kids with a history in foster care or trauma may be triggered by this film. Assess if it is an appropriate time for your child to watch this film. Parental discretion is advised for older teens (16+), based on the youth’s maturity and personal history.

2. Pre-Viewing Discussions: If you do decide to take your family to see the film, consider having a family discussion before to prepare your family for potentially triggering content. 

3. Post-Viewing Debrief: Plan to debrief as a family after the movie to process thoughts and emotions. This can help kids process any distressing scenes and reinforces their sense of safety and support.

4. Consult with Therapists: If your child is currently in therapy, consider discussing the film’s content with their mental health provider in advance to identify potential triggers and strategies for managing them.

Positive Impacts

  • Hope and Redemption: The narrative arc of the movie ultimately is one of hope and  shows the positive impact of community support on foster/adoptive families. It illustrates the potential of overcoming challenges and finding healing and wholeness.
  • Inspiration into Action: The film will inspire viewers to get involved in foster care and become agents of change.

Potential Triggers

  • Domestic Violence: The film contains scenes depicting the domestic violence that lead to the children’s placement in foster care
  • Parental Conflict: A foster mom strikes a foster daughter and expresses feelings of wanting to give up
  • Distress in Foster Care: Children wait in an office to be placed depicting abandonment.
  • Abuse and Neglect: A child calls 911 during a violent incident, a special-needs child is shown in distress due to neglect, along with other challenging family dynamics
  • Spanking and Verbal Abuse: Depictions of a foster mom spanking a child and using profanity
  • Poverty and Neglect: Scenes showing the harsh realities of poverty and neglect in foster care situations

Bottom Line

Strongly consider not taking young children, and for older children, particularly those who’ve known the trauma of foster care and adoption, be sure to discuss what they’ll see before and after the movie. Expect triggers and hard, heavy conversations. Be ready, but don’t miss it. Step into the fight.

Christina Bauer is a former foster youth who was adopted out of foster care, along with her brother. As social media manager for America’s Kids Belong and an influencer on foster / adoption issues, Christina is a passionate and knowledgeable voice for the vulnerable, especially aging out youth and sibling groups in foster care.

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