Foster parenting can be a daunting task, especially if you believe many of the stereotypes, myths and negative messages that you are exposed to regarding foster care and children in foster care.
There are few things in life more rewarding or noble than opening your arms and home to a child in foster care, so let’s break down some of the common myths when it comes to fostering:
MYTH: I don’t make enough money to foster
Money is naturally a huge concern to a potential foster parent, but foster parents get a non-taxable subsidy from the government to help care for any children they have in their home. You do not have to be rich to provide the loving home that the child needs.
You can’t buy love and stability, and, thankfully, with the help of key resources that are exclusively provided to foster parents, it is possible to receive help with the cost of raising a foster child while you focus on what matters most — helping them grow and feel safe and loved.
MYTH: You have to own your house
Owning a home has gone from being affordable to borderline impossible in the span of just a few years, and paying rent instead of a mortgage should not be a barrier to providing a safe, loving home to a foster child. In order to foster, you just have to have a stable loving home with adequate room for the children.
MYTH: Foster parents can’t have a job
If you’re going to take care of a child in foster care, you have to be around all the time to care for them, right? WRONG.
Just like any other child, you can go to work while they’re at school, or daycare, or at home, or with a babysitter — the list goes on and on.
Just because you are not their biological parent, does not mean that they are not your child for the time being. It’s best for children in foster care for you to treat them as if they were your own, and that includes you regularly going to work.
MYTH: You can’t be single to foster
Another huge myth is that you must be a part of a traditional family unit in order to foster a child. Being a foster parent is about emotional support and stability while a child is going through a tough time in their lives. A single person can do that, too!
MYTH: It will be too hard to see your foster child go
Every parent’s worst nightmare is losing their children, and a major foster parenting myth is that it is guaranteed that you will eventually have to see your child go.
Fostering a child is providing them a stable home life until it’s time to return to their biological parents, and it is likely that they will have to leave. However, the compassion and dedication you showed in welcoming them to your home will have changed their lives forever.
And remember, kids grow up, too! Just because they are out of your home does not mean you will never see them again.
FACT: Fostering is a rewarding experience
Fostering a child can be a positive, life-changing experience for both you and the child. As much as you are impacting their lives, they are impacting yours just as well.
KidLink Community Services provides therapeutic services to youth in foster care, foster parents and biological families throughout Tennessee. Our team of professionals have extensive experience in the foster care field and are here to help guide you through the foster care process.
To contact us, give us a call at 877-714-1313 or complete a contact us form.