Discover the Facts About Foster PARENTING

There are many myths, misconceptions, and mistaken ideas about foster parenting. Please keep these facts in mind as you consider granting a local child’s wish for a loving foster home:

FACT: You may rent or own your home, and you definitely don’t have to be rich. It’s the size of your heart – not your paycheck – that matters most.

FACT: Single, partnered, and married people alike can all be great foster parents. (Indeed, an increasing number of local foster parents are single.)
FACT: You don’t have to have children of your own or past parenting experience, just lots of love for the children you will foster.
FACT: People begin fostering at many different points in life. The only age requirement is that foster parents must be at least 21, and many great foster parents are in their 50s or 60s.
Many excellent foster parents are part of the LGBTQ community.
FACT: Like biological parents, most foster parents work full-time and outside of the home. Daycare or aftercare is available at little or no cost for foster children.
FACT: Children enter foster care through no fault of their own. They have been abused, abandoned, or neglected and wish for safe, loving foster homes. The strong relationship between the children and their foster parents can help heal the trauma they have experienced and lead to a brighter future.
FACT: Foster parents do not pay any of the child's medical expenses other than for over-the-counter medicines and supplies. Every child in foster care has Medicaid to cover healthcare costs.

FACT: Foster parents receive support in a variety of ways and become part of a community of professionals and other foster parents with a heart for children. Support provided to foster parents includes:

  • Foster parents receive a monthly board payment to help cover of the cost of caring for their foster children;
  • Foster parents work with a Child Advocate (caseworker) who visits the child at least once a month, helps obtain services for the child, and ensures that the child’s needs are being met;
  • Foster parents have a Home Support Specialist through their licensing agency to assist with any issues that arise;
  • Foster parents receive 12 days of paid respite care, when a foster child stays with another foster family;
  • Foster parents receive childcare for their foster children at little or no cost;
  • Foster children receive Medicaid to cover healthcare costs, as well counseling and additional therapies as necessary; and
  • Many foster children are also assigned a Guardian Ad Litem or Attorney Ad litem to advocate for their best interest in court.

The Foster and Adoptive Parent Association (FAPA) also provides support to fellow foster and adoptive parents. In Broward County, FAPA meets at 7 pm on the fourth Tuesday of each month at Plantation Community Church, 6501 W. Broward Blvd., Plantation. In Palm Beach County, contact FAPA at 561.352.2540 for more information on support services.

FACT: For people who feel called to open their hearts and homes as foster parents, the rewards of foster parenting far outweigh the challenges. Like any parenting, foster parenting can be truly difficult at times. But the incredible impact that you can have as a foster parent is priceless.