Truth: No parenting experience is needed to become a foster parent. Many people with various backgrounds choose fostering. Although parenting experience is not necessary, you will need to meet certain criteria and participate in screening and assessment for licensing purposes. Additionally, CTH trains you in the Teaching-Family Model, which gives you hands on experience and understanding of parenting and helping children and youth achieve their full potential.
2. I would have to say yes to every child.
Truth: You will not be required to say ‘yes’ to every child. After you are licensed, you will have an opportunity to collect all of the information about each child before making a commitment. Your foster care team will assist by knowing your skill and comfort level, and will pre-screen all referrals to make the best possible matches for you and for the children requiring foster care.
3. I would become too attached and could never give a child back.
Truth: As a foster parent, you are expected to provide temporary care, safety and love for the child. Your foster child’s parents/guardians are working hard to make better choices and improve their lives. When reunification is possible, you will feel sad to see the child go, but also so proud of the family for doing the hard work to bring their child home.
4. You need to have a lot of money to become a foster parent.
Truth: You do not need a lot of money to become a foster parent, however during the licensing process, you will need to show that you have sufficient funds so that fostering is about supporting a child, and not about making an income.
5. It would be scary, as we’d have to figure things out on our own.
Truth: Closer to Home works with prospective foster parents to minimize fear by equipping them with all of the tools, information and training needed to prepare them for their first placement. And, you will never be alone, as Closer to Home provides 24 hour on-call support and in-person support when required.
6. The children will have issues that I don’t have experience in.
Truth: Each child will have different concerns and will have experienced trauma at some level. Your Foster Care treatment team, your training, and the child’s support team will provide you with the knowledge and skills to support your foster child.
7. I would have no free time left.
Truth: The structure of your time will change when you are fostering a child, but free time is still possible. As a foster parent, self-care is extremely important. You will be expected to take breaks and to take time for yourself. It’s a necessity to make you a better caregiver. We can help you plan to ensure you have regular breaks.
8. Like in the movies, foster children bounce from home to home their entire lives.
Truth: At times a child has to move to a different placement to ensure their needs are met and to allow the child the best success for the future. However every child and every situation is different. Closer to Home strives to minimize the number of placements a child experienced by obtaining the most up to date information regarding a child and making thoughtful and educated decisions for placement based on foster parents skills set, willingness and readiness to learn, and provides both proactive and on-call support to ensure the placement is the most successful it can be.
9. I’m too old/young to become a Foster Parent.
Truth: There is a minimum age requirement of 18 years old to be a foster parent, but besides that, there is no restriction on age. If you have the desire and have the energy to foster children of any and all ages, and if you meet the necessary criteria and through the assessment process, then you can become a foster parent.
10. I am single, so I cannot be a foster parent.
Truth: Both couples and individuals alike can become foster parents. You just need the interest and determination to start the process!