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10 lies people believe about foster care

This post needs no introduction.  But in the SchoolHouse Rock’s spirit – “Knowledge Is Power!”

Lie #1.  The purpose of foster care is to provide permanent homes for children.

Fact:    The purpose of foster care is to provide a temporary home for children until their family can be stabilize.

Lie #2.  Only younger adults can be foster parents.

Fact:    Foster parents must be at least 21 years of age but there is no maximum age limit. Good physical, emotional, and mental health are required to become a foster parent.

Lie #3.  You must be married to be a foster parent.

Fact:    You can be married, single, divorced or separated.

Lie #4.  You must own your own home to be a foster parent.

Fact:    You may live in an apartment or rent a home. Your residence must pass a home inspection and have adequate bedroom space.

Lie #5.  Only families that are wealthy can be foster parents.

Fact:    You must be financially stable and able to meet your household expenses. You will receive a monthly subsidy check to help with the cost of caring for a foster child.

Lie #6.  Only urban areas need foster parents.

Fact:    All areas in Missouri need foster families willing and able to care for a child.

Lie #7.  Once you adopt through foster care the biological parent can take the child back.

Fact:    Once parental rights are terminated the parents have no further recourse for gaining custody of the child.

Lie #8.  Adopting a child from foster care is expensive.

Fact:    Adopting children from foster care can be virtually free.  Children who are in foster care and who are adopted from foster care receive free health insurance.  Foster parents receive a monthly payment to offset food, clothing, activities, etc. while the child is in foster care and at a slightly lower rate when the child is adopted into their home.

Lie #9.  All children in foster care have some kind of physical, mental, or emotional handicap; that’s why they are classified as “special needs”.

Fact:    The term “special needs” in the foster care system can mean that the child is older, a minority or requires placement with his/her siblings.

Lie #10.  Children in foster care have too much “baggage”.

Fact:    This is perhaps the biggest myth off all. Children in foster care- just like all children-have enormous potential to thrive given love, patience and a stable environment. Former U.S Senator Ben Campbell and Minnesota Viking Dante Culpepper were both foster children who were adopted by caring adults.

published 1/21/2015

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