There are hundreds of thousands of children in America’s foster care system. Misconceptions about foster care can prevent a lot of great foster parent candidates from providing loving homes to children in need. The facts below will help dispel many common myths you may have heard about the foster care system.
Myth: Foster kids are difficult or out-of-control.
Truth: They need solid, consistent, patient care.
While some foster children may have special behavioral, developmental or medical needs, it’s important to remember that all enter the system due to no fault of their own – specifically, parental neglect or abuse. Just because a child is in foster care doesn’t inherently mean he or she is ill or “difficult;” they’ve been placed there because of circumstances beyond their control. Many have needs that require extra support, but a child placement agency provides resources for foster parents that equip them with the right tools. All children require consistent care which may mean going above and beyond to ensure their growth and well-being.
Myth: You need a specific kind of household in order to be a foster parent.
Truth: Any household type can provide foster home supports to a child in need. A traditional two-parent household isn’t required.
Foster parents should be financially and emotionally stable, but by no means do you have to be perfect. In fact, the households that take in foster children can be as unique as the children themselves. There’s no age requirement (which makes it great for empty nesters or retired people), you don’t have to be a stay-at-home parent (many foster parents work outside the home), and you don’t have to be married (single, divorced and widowed people can all apply). All you need to foster a child is a loving home and an open heart.
Read more foster care myths and facts on IndyStar.com.