There are many misconceptions about foster parenting that, sadly, can often prevent qualified people from even considering being a foster parent. It happens more often than you think. Let’s take a look at 5 common misconceptions and myths.
- You Must Be Married – Not true! You have to be at least 21 years of age, but, believe it or not, there are no marital requirements. You can be divorced, single, separated, married, widowed, the list goes on.
- You Have to Be Perfect – No one is perfect! There are times when we all face challenges. While we do have a foster care vetting process, each applicant is assessed on a case-by-case basis. The process typically includes a police check, medical history review, a thorough home study, and conversations with the references you provide. Being open and honest when completing your initial application makes the process run more smoothly.
- Fostering Teenagers is Difficult – Again, this isn’t necessarily true. Each child is different and similar to each of us, our life experiences shape who we are and our coping skills play a role in how we react to situations. Many teens are looking for role models in their foster parents who can provide them with a stable life, and help them recover from their past and grow and move forward.
- You Have to Own a Home – Foster parents can rent or own a home including apartments, townhomes, single-family homes, etc… While you aren’t required to be a homeowner, each foster child must have their own bed and your home must provide adequate space.
- You Must Have A Lot of Money – Foster parents receive a stipend to assist with food, allowance, personal hygiene products, and other expenses related to raising a child. This tax-free maintenance payment is provided by the State of Virginia and is distributed monthly and depends on the age of the child. In addition to the monthly payment, foster parents are also provided an annual clothing allowance, per child.
There you have it! We hope we’ve been able to clear up a few myths you might have had about being a foster parent. We’ll cover additional myths and misconceptions in future blog posts. We encourage you to reach out to us here at For Children’s Sake any time you have a question or would like additional information about the foster care process. We’re here not only here to help, but we’re also happy to help!