Foster Care: Myths & Facts

MYTH: Becoming a foster parent is the best way to be able to adopt a child.

  • FACT: The goal for children in foster care is to be reunified with their biological families, so this is not the best way to expand your family by adoption. We want our foster parents to be in support of helping families reunite. We have a specific track designed specifically for those families wanting to adopt children, so fostering is NOT the best way to permanently expand your family.

MYTH: Foster parents are NOT allowed to have pets.

  • FACT: Foster parents may absolutely have pets! We know that many animals are naturally responsive to human emotions and can often offer a calming effect for children. Your licensing counselor can explain any documentation required for pets.

MYTH: Foster parents are only in it for the money.

  • FACT: This is absolutely not true, as every foster parent must meet strict requirements regarding their own financial stability before they can even be considered as a foster parent. Foster parents receive a small monthly stipend to offset the expense of having a child in their home; they are not paid an income to be foster parents.

MYTH: I could never foster a teenager because their behavior would be too difficult to manage.

  • FACT: Many people have had this fear, and many foster parents will tell you it is absolutely not true. These children are not in care due to anything that they did. They have been placed in care as a result of abuse or neglect that was NOT their fault. With support and nurturing, our teens have received academic and athletic scholarships to college; they have become doctors, teachers, laborers, pastors, and social workers, along with many other careers. All they need are dedicated parents to step forward and take a chance on them, thereby helping them reach their full potential.

MYTH: I could never foster because it would break my heart to lose a child.

  • FACT: Even if they are only with you for a short time, you may be the one person that can make a positive change in a child’s life forever. By building relationships with biological families, you could continue to have contact with a child even after they successfully reunite with their parents.

MYTH: I’m afraid the birth parents would find out where I live & try to take the children.

  • FACT: Our foster parents work in partnership with our birth parents and try to build a relationship for the sake of the children. Your privacy is always secure, and no one will be given your address unless you give it to them. We have many foster parents that invite birth parents to join them at their homes for holiday meals, birthdays or other events.

MYTH: Once a child is placed with you, there is no support.

  • FACT: We love our foster parents and value the commitment they are making for children! There are MANY supports available, and every foster parent not only has their own licensing specialist assigned to their home, but they will receive support from case managers, Guardian Ad Litems, child care centers and many additional supports!

MYTH: Once they’re in foster care, they stay in foster care.

  • FACT: Our primary goal is for children to reunify with their families, and we have a high success rate for reunification with the birth family. Our foster parents are proud of their success in helping a child reunify with their family.

MYTH: You have to be married to be a foster parent.

  • FACT: Foster parents can be single, married or living in a committed relationship with someone. You must, however, be at least 21 years old. There is no age limit to become a foster parent.

MYTH: You have to live in a house to be a foster parent.

  • FACT: You may live in a home, mobile home or apartment, as long as there is adequate space for children.