Fostering can seem like a daunting task: the paperwork, hectic work schedules, money, the stability of the children that come into your care are all concerns that potential candidates raise when they ultimately decide not to become a foster parent.
‘It’s too difficult to even start the process’ or I’ll never be approved’ are common doubts that candidates tell themselves when they consider fostering. But these considerations are largely unfounded. It might surprise you how easy it is to become a foster parent, and who can become a foster parent. If becoming a foster parent is a goal of yours, then don’t let these fears get in the way of offering a good home to a needy child.
Here are 9 misconceptions and the truth about foster parents that should help ease your anxiety:
- You can’t be a single parent. Not true. Most foster families are actually single-parent households.
- You have to pay for the child’s medical bills. Children in the foster system are medically covered by the state’s Medicaid programs, typically Amerigroup and that coverage includes their prescriptions.
- You can’t work a full-time job. As long someone, be it a family member, day-care center, after-school program, or babysitter is with the child, working 40 hours a week will not disqualify you.
- You can’t have pets. You won’t have to give up your furry friends. You just need to make sure that the shot records up to date.
- You can’t foster children from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. All that matters is the best interest of the child. As long as you provide a safe, loving home environment, differences in the race between foster parents and children don’t matter.
- You can’t foster if you are gay or transexual. Discrimination on this basis has been illegal since the early 2000s.
- You can’t foster if you are over 60. The health of the foster parent is important, but there is no age limit. As long as you relatively healthy, you can be 80 years old and still be a foster parent.
- You can’t keep your kids if you get pregnant on your own. This has never been true. Not only can keep your foster kids, but you also don’t have to go through the vetting process all over again. The caseworker only needs to ensure that there is adequate room in the house for the foster kids and your new bundle of joy.
- You can’t specify what type of child or age you want to foster. It’s actually better if you do have parameters. It makes placing kids in suitable families easier.