Myth: You must be a homeowner and wealthy to become a foster parent.
Fact: There are no such requirements. You may be a homeowner or a renter. The only financial requiirement is that you have a balanced budget as you go into fostering.
Myth: You must be married to become a foster parent.
Fact: You may be married, single or partnered to become a foster parent. In fact, an increasing number of children live in single-parent homes.
Myth: Foster parents must already have experience with raising children.
Fact: Parenting experience is not a factor. Foster parents receive significant training and support from their licensing agency to help them foster a child.
Myth: Foster parents cannot have full-time jobs as they must stay at home with the children.
Fact: Most foster parents do work full-time and outside of the home, since a requirement is financial stability. Adults work full-time with biological children, and it's no different with foster children. Daycare or aftercare is available for children.
Myth: Children are placed in foster care due to juvenile delinquency and have been so abused that they are beyond help.
Fact: Children enter foster care through no fault of their own. Usually, they are victims of abuse, abandonment and neglect and in most cases, symptoms are mild to moderate and can diminish in time with love and counseling. Miracles happen all the time with children because of the relationship they develop with foster families.
Myth: I would have to provide medical insurance for my foster child.
Fact: Foster parents do not pay any of the child's medical expenses other than over-the-counter medicines and supplies. Every child in foster care has Medicaid to cover all medical expenses.
Myth: Once I take a foster child, I am on my own and without any help.
Fact: When you become a foster parent, you become part of the ChildNet team. There are many types of support available to foster parents, including the help from their assigned child advocate or caseworker. Prior to becoming a foster parent, agency staff develops a profile of the type of child best suited to the experience and capabilities of the family. While you will incur some expenses as a result of parenting, once a foster child is placed in a foster home, the foster parent receives a monthly board payment that is meant to cover most of the cost of caring for the foster child.
Myth: I am too old/too young to be able to provide a healthy and loving environment for a foster child.
Fact: You must be at least 21 years old and in good physical and mental health. An increasing number of children live happily with foster parents who are 55 years and older.
Myth: It is too difficult to be a foster parent; therefore, it is not worth it.
Fact: Being a foster parent parent is an incredibly rewarding experience and the impact that you leave on the life of a child is something that will never be forgotten by you and your foster child!