12 Myths About Foster Care


Myths About Foster Parents

MYTH #1: Only married couples can be foster parents.

TRUTH: Texas allows you to be a foster parent whether you are single, married, widowed, or divorced. Being a foster parent is hard work, and it can be daunting to be the only person to shoulder the responsibility. But I’ve seen it done beautifully. The key is to have a community who is ready to step up and provide a strong support system in a number of ways. Find @bethanyanne42 on Instagram for insight into being a single foster parent. And men, you can do it, too!

MYTH #2: I cannot foster if I work outside the home.

TRUTH: As long as your family is able to maintain financial stability, it does not matter who works. Foster parents even have access to additional assistance to pay for daycare if both parents work outside the home at least 40 hours per week.

MYTH #3: I will have no control over who is placed in my home.

TRUTH: While it is true that you don’t choose specific children for your home, you will have the opportunity to share your preferences with your agency during the home study process. You can specify age range, medical needs, behavioral issues, and more. Foster parents have every right to say no to any child placement request for any reason.

>> RELATED READ :: Foster Care Is for Us All <<

MYTH #4: I need to own a home to be a foster parent.

TRUTH: Homeownership is not required. However, there are minimum standards concerning bedrooms and square footage. Just be aware that each time you move after licensing, a new home study will have to be completed.

MYTH #5: Foster parents are in it for the money.

TRUTH: I have found Texas does have a generous reimbursement rate, at least compared to my previous home state, but it still does not meet the average monthly cost of raising a child. And at close to $1 per hour, just about any job would pay more. So while there may be an occasional bad apple, I promise that generally speaking, foster parents are not in it for the money.

love balloonMYTH #6: I need parenting experience before I can foster.

TRUTH: Parenting experience is not required. I am usually a firm believer that experience is the best teacher. However, parenting a child who has experienced trauma often looks very different than parenting a biological child. As part of the licensing process, foster parents receive extensive and valuable training to help them prepare for parenting children from hard places.

>> RELATED READ :: Change the Lives of Foster Kids {Without Becoming a Foster Parent} <<

MYTH #7: I need to be young to foster.

TRUTH: Texas requires that foster parents be at least 21 years old. I have met numerous foster parents upwards of 50 years old, including many empty nesters. If you are 21 or older and fit to take care of children don’t let age stop you!

MYTH #8: I wouldn’t be good at fostering because I would get too attached.

TRUTH: That is exactly what makes a great foster parent! We all get too attached because it is the very thing foster kids need from us. We love these kids with everything we have in hopes of giving them a sense of normalcy.

Myths About Foster Children

MYTH #9: Children are in foster care because they have done something wrong.

TRUTH: This is never the case. Children enter foster care because of abusive or neglectful caregivers.

kids sitting on the group

MYTH #10: Foster children don’t, or shouldn’t, want to be with their birth parents.

TRUTH: Though adults often struggle to understand, it is consistently true that children long for their biological families, regardless of their circumstances.

MYTH #11: Fostering babies is easier because they have experienced little-to-no trauma.

TRUTH: The same things that traumatize anyone else can traumatize babies. Loud noises, violence, unpredictable environment, drug exposure, and separation from caregivers can all lead to problems with foundational development. This leads to both short-term difficulties and lifelong effects.

MYTH #12: Many foster children are difficult beyond help.

TRUTH: It’s true that foster children can exhibit concerning behaviors. It’s important to understand that behavioral problems that are common among foster children are an expression of unmet needs. Foster children also have access to therapies that help guide both child and parent through behavioral struggles.

How many of these myths had you believed?


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