Take This Heart is a feature documentary that chronicles the stories of a handful of young boys living in foster care and documents their struggle to make sense of their harsh fates. The film seeks to illuminate the dark sense of loss and emptiness borne by these children. Take this Heart was broadcast on PBS and received the Anna Quindlen Award for Excellence in Journalism.

For the nearly one million American children who are compelled to live in foster care, daily life is a forbidding venture. Cast adrift at an early age, dispossessed of everyone they have known or loved (often the very adults who have abused or abandoned them), they are left to grow up in a world that has proven profoundly unreliable, with strangers who may or may not offer comfort and protection.

Take This Heart is the story of three boys: Robert, Jamil (above), and Joaquin have been passed from one foster home to the next, eventually landing in the care of Tess Thomas, a state-funded foster mother. Thomas sees her work with children as “God’s purpose for me,” and it is clear that her commitment derives from a fierce and serene spirit. Take This Heart explores the experiences of a few children in one foster home in Seattle and attempts to make visible an invisible population of children otherwise consigned to silence at the margins of society.