It’s been 20 years since “The Bernie Mac Show” televised what many of us know all too well: what it’s like to step up to take care of the children of family members.
It’s called “kinship” care — and in the show, Bernie takes custody of his drug-addicted sister’s three children, which puts him firmly in the crosshairs of the child welfare system.
As we see in the show’s first season, using less-than-kid-friendly language while complaining about a high phone bill lands Bernie in hot water. He gets called to his niece Bryana’s school because Bryana repeats Bernie’s words, and then a social worker, Brad Cooley, gets sent to his home.
“You seem hostile to her,” Cooley tells Bernie about the teacher’s perspective. Bernie is understandably confused because he loves the children and would do anything for them.