10 Myths of Foster Care

Many questions and uncertainties arise when considering becoming a foster parent. Many of these concerns are based on false information and overshadow the rewards of helping children and youths. Here are ten myths and truths of foster parenting:

Myth #1:

Foster parenting requires experience.

Fact #1:

Many foster parent have never had their own children. If you’re committed to providing a
safe and loving environment, you can be a foster parent. Lack of parental experience doesn’t
remove or minimize your ability to be responsible and provide an appropriate environment for a
child in need.

Myth #2:

I can’t be a foster parent and have a full-time job.

Fact #2:

Foster parents are required to have a stable source of income. There are programs to help
with and even cover child care expenses, depending upon your area.

Myth #3:

Being a foster parent is too expensive.

Fact #3:

There are costs for foster care, but many states and programs provide a monthly stipend
for expenses. Providing a loving and safe environment for a child in need is priceless.

Myth #4:

Foster children are unruly and difficult.

Fact #4:

Many of these children have experienced trauma and come from a neglected home. You
can give them stable and safe place to heal, learn, and grow. Foster care programs provide
training on how to best understand and help children who have suffered from abuse and

Myth #5:

Children in foster care have criminal backgrounds.

Fact #5:

Many children are in foster care due to abandonment, neglect, and abuse. They need a
nurturing, safe home to encourage them and provide guidance.

Myth #6:

Foster care is punishment.

Fact #6:

Not all children are delinquents. Foster care is to help children, not punish them.

Myth #7:

Children in foster care are orphaned.

Fact #7:

While some children are orphans, most come from difficult homes and are in foster care
for protection.

Myth #8:

Foster children have been in many homes.

Fact #8:

Foster care is designed to create stability in the lives of the children. Many are placed in
homes and remaining in one home for a long time. When they do go from home to home, it is
usually because its reunification attempts.

Myth #9:

I can’t adopt the child I foster.

Fact #9:

Some children do return to their birth families, but many are unable to return home.
Recent statistics reveal that over 50% of foster children are adopted by their foster parents.

Myth #10:

I’m too old to be a foster parent.

Fact #10:

You’re required to be 21 years old to be a foster parent. Many empty nesters have the
patience and time for fostering and find it to be a rewarding experience. You’re never too old to
give love and guidance to a child.