Myths About Foster Care
Myth: I need to be a perfect parent to be a foster parent.
There is no “perfect parent.” If you can provide love, patience, structure and a willingness to learn trauma informed parenting skills, you too can be a foster parent. We strongly need families dedicated to providing permanency for our children. The journey will not always be easy, but our children deserve to have a safe and stable home upon their first placement.
Myth: Kids in Foster Care misbehave more than other children.
Children in foster care are not “bad” children. They did not choose to be in foster care, or do anything that caused them to be in foster care. All children in foster care have experienced trauma. This may cause children to display certain behaviors associated with that trauma. Our agency will provide you with access to Trauma Informed Parenting classes, a 24/7 crisis number, and workers who are dedicated to providing you and your foster children support.
Myth: I do not make enough money to be a foster parent.
To be a licensed foster home, future foster parents must have a legal source of income, and be capable of managing that income to meet the needs of the foster family. A foster family does not need to be wealthy. The state reimbursement provides funds for food, housing, clothing, and allowance. Children in foster care also have Medicaid to cover medical costs, and qualify for state assistance for child care.
Myth: If a child is reunified, I will never be able to see that child again.
A foster family must express willingness, and demonstrate the ability, to work with a foster child’s family or future family. We have had foster families build positive relationships with biological families and still see the children after reunification. Although this is not always the case, foster parents can still relentlessly love the children placed in their home. We ask our foster families to love a child despite the risk of loss. Our children need love and attachment, and adults are better equipped to cope with grief than a child. It may be difficult if you have to say goodbye to a child, but you are providing that child with a vital emotional need.
Our agency can provide you with another foster parent, as a mentor if you are having a difficult time coping with the challenges of foster care. Our agency is staffed with empathetic specialists who will hear your concerns and fears and work with you to make sure our agency is meeting our children’s’ needs in foster care as well as your family’s needs.
Myth: I need to be married to be a foster parent.
A foster parent does not need to be married to be a foster parent. Our agency has many licensed single parent households. We encourage all foster parents single or not to have many social supports to help them care for a child because it truly takes a village. Our licensing workers will also background check as many substitute care givers as you would like. A substitute care giver is someone over 18 that could ensure that appropriate care and supervision are provided for foster children at all times consistent with the child’s treatment plan. This could mean adult family, friends, or appropriate mentors who have been background checked to provide care for the children placed in your home. We would love to connect you with other single foster parents if you have questions or concerns about fostering as a single parent.
Myth: Foster children would negatively impact my biological children.
Foster children are not “bad” children. Foster children have, however, experienced trauma. You most likely will need to parent a foster child differently than your biological children. Differences are not definitively negative. Children in foster care can be huge assets to your home and family. Having foster children and biological children at the same time can allow for positive conversations of diversity and empathy. Our agency has many families who are currently fostering children and adopting children while raising their own biological children. There can be incredibly difficult challenges while adjusting to a new environment with another family member, but these challenges allow for growth and learning.