In the world of foster care, myths and misconceptions are common, often clouding the public’s understanding of this critical system. We’re working to debunk some of the most prevalent myths surrounding foster care. From dispelling stereotypes about foster parents to shedding light on the realities of the process, we’ll separate fact from fiction to help you gain a clearer perspective on this vital system.
Myth: Families or relative kin aren’t considered to take care of a child.
When children first come into foster care, DCFS first looks for a safe and appropriate kinship placement where they are most likely to have consistency in relationships and have regular, quality contact with the children’s parents. If that isn’t an option, DCFS tries to place children in a traditional foster (resource) home.
Myth: All foster children have been sexually or physically abused.
There are many unfortunate circumstances that lead to a child being moved from their family, but over half the children removed from their home are moved due to neglect. The second highest cause is parental substance abuse.
Myth: You must be a homeowner to be a foster parent.
Homeownership is not the only definition of a stable, and loving home environment – whether that takes the form of an apartment or house. Foster children need school stability and space to live and thrive in.
Myth: “I won’t have a choice in the child who is placed with me.”
Every Child Arkansas’ goal is to have a home for every child – but not just a home, a strategic home. Which means the child is placed in the right home for them! This is something you can talk through with your case manager and/or licensing and support organization.
Myth: “I can’t be a foster parent because I would get too attached.”
Those with loving hearts are the exact people we need to become foster parents. Reunification is the ultimate goal of foster care, so forming an attachment with a child may be painful when they return to their family, but your love and support will be pivotal for them during what is a truly difficult time.
Myth: Single people cannot become foster parents.
Many single people have been and are foster parents! Children need a stable, caring home. If you have the means and feel the call in your heart to help a child in need, please get connected with one of the Every Child Arkansas partner organizations who can help guide you through the process.
Myth: “Once a child is placed in my home, I’m on my own.”
Organizations in the Every Child network are here to support you on this journey all the way through! Your support and/or licensing organization will be there for you, as well as volunteer organizations who provide resource and encouragement for foster families across the state.
To learn more about the organizations in our network and the support they provide, click here.