The thought of foster care is often surrounded by this stereotypical photo of angelic parents trying to wrangle an out-of-control child. Foster care isn’t usually the way it’s portrayed on television. Foster care is a way for everyday people to change the world, one child, at a time. We’ve got six misconceptions of foster care.
1. Foster Kids Are Bad Apples
Foster kids are often stereotyped as the wild, aggressive kids that cannot seem to settle down. This can be true in some cases, but every foster child is not misbehaved. Foster children have usually experienced some tough situations. They work with therapists in programs to help them work through these situations. They’re placed in homes where foster parents give them love in addition to this counseling. It’s important to remember that foster kids aren’t taken from their homes because of their behavior, but due to abuse or neglect.
2 Abused Children Become Abusive Adults
Many people think foster kids only continue to do the things their parents did to them. If they only know unhealthy behaviors, will they continue this vicious cycle?
Foster parents make a difference in the lives of these children. They usually actually want to make a change for their future. With loving foster parents, abused children feel a sense of security and get to focus on the positivity in life.
3. It’s Financially Unethical To Foster Children
Foster parents do receive financial help to take care of children, but most do not take advantage of this help. It is usually not enough money to make a family income. The financial stipend is to help with the child’s necessities. Many families need help buying a child’s food and clothing. The family is held accountable to provide for the child through the foster financial help. Most families are honest, loving people that give much more of their own money than the financial stipend can even provide.
4. Foster Parents Are Only Heterosexual And Married
The traditional family has changed over the years. The “standard American family” is no longer the husband, wife and 3.5 kids. In today’s world, the family unit has many different faces. All prospective foster parents are welcome into the foster world. As long as they can pass a background check, are of a certain age, and have the resources needed for a child, you can apply to be a foster parent.
5. I Cannot Say Goodbye
It’s a scary thought to let go of a child you love, but you’re actually giving them a much bigger gift when you let them go. A foster parent gives a child stability, love and trust. It’s hard to watch a child move on, but it’s a great thing to know you’ve impacted their life. They are then able to go into the world with all they have learned, able to heal, and trust others. In some cases, the new foster family or biological family will keep you updated on the child so you don’t lose all contact. In other cases, you can let go knowing the child is living a better life because of your love.
6. You Have To Be A Saint
The perfect angels walking into church with five foster children making it look easy aren’t the people that you need to be to become a foster parent. Foster parents are everyday heroes just being parents. They’re tired and frustrated like every other parent. Foster parents feel like they’re winning some days and totally losing other days. They’re doing the best they can to provide security and love for their foster child. Others may see them as saints as they tackle the foster parent duties and fight for their foster child, but they see themselves as regular parents just doing what any other parent would do for their beloved child.