There are a lot of misunderstandings about fostering and what it takes to become licensed. Here are just a few common myths that get resolved, showing why becoming a foster parent is feasible for most families.
“It is too expensive”
There may be some expenses, but most states provide reimbursements and a monthly stipend. The most important thing is to be able to provide a stable household for the child.
“Teenagers are the most difficult to foster”
Fostering is really a case-by-case situation. Every child has undergone different experiences and has learned to cope in different ways. Teens are in the phase of life where they are trying to gain independence, and they need your support in giving them stability and a safe space to do so.
“I would get too attached to the child”
This should not be a deterrent from fostering because the child is in need of someone to attach with. Often times, foster children do not have adults that they can trust and rely on. Someone who is emotionally invested is exactly what they need.
If a child was to return home, there is that sense of loss and grieving. However, many foster parents and children stay connected throughout the years. Plus, how rewarding to know that you made such a lasting, meaningful impact on a child’s life!
“You must already be a parent”
You do not have to have your own children to be capable of providing foster children with proper care!
“You can’t work full-time”
Foster parents can get Day Care assistance for their child so that they can still work the same hours.
“You can’t be a single foster parent”
Marriage is not a prerequisite to becoming a foster parent. Many people are single foster parents; however, it may require more support since you would be taking this on by yourself. You can get support through your agency, support groups, respite, friends, family, and others.
“You must own a home to foster”
You can either own or rent a home to foster. It is just required that you provide the child with their own bed and a room that meets the state’s requirements.
“Most children in foster care have faced sexual or physical abuse”
The number one reason for child placement is because of neglect. This means that the child’s needs were not being met and they were not in safe living conditions. Some children have faced sexual or physical abuse, but the prominence of it is a misconception.
“Foster parents are in it for the money”
The monthly stipend is enough to meet the child’s needs, but not enough for foster parents to live off of. Foster parents should be able to make enough money to pay their bills and expenses without this stipend. Plus, being a foster parent is not an easy job and money should not be the motivator to become a foster parent.
“11 Myths of Foster Care Parenting.” Rawhide Youth Services, 13 Apr. 2021, https://www.rawhide.org/blog/foster-care/11-myths-of-foster-care-parenting/?gclid=CjwKCAjwwL6aBhBlEiwADycBIDOHwChizUstWW9D-nGz10nD3I4fPXQeTxMZLhmLjZD6Q2U4Vv_xwRoCNFMQAvD_BwE.
“Debunking Foster Care Myths.” Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition, 2 June 2021, https://www.foster-adopt.org/blog/debunking-foster-care-myths/.
fcmedia. “18 Common Myths about Foster Care: Foster Care.” Fostercare, 22 Oct. 2021, https://fostercare.com/18-common-myths-about-foster-care.