Foster Care is one of those topics that society doesn’t like to talk about. Children in foster care are often victims of circumstances they can’t control. Foster care strives to give children a more stable environment where they can process all forms of trauma and heal from it. Still, when people do talk about foster care, there’s often a lot of misconceptions. We think this needs to change. Foster care is a necessary service that can be a tool for bonding and healing. By dispelling myths, we can increase understanding and do the one thing we all want to do: Help children.
Myth #1: I can’t be a foster parent. I would get too attached and would hate to see them leave.
Reality: You will get attached. We’re counting on that. Attachment is one of the things that makes a foster placement successful. Your attachment, attention, and affection are crucial to helping a foster child feel safe, comforted, and loved. They need your attachment so they can form their own and find healthy ways to heal.
Myth #2: I can’t be a foster parent if I’m young/old or single or both.
Reality: Foster parents come from all walks of life! The only requirements in South Carolina are that you have to be 21 years of age, able to pass background checks and home inspections, and complete 14 hours of foster parent training. Providing a safe, loving, and stable home for a foster child isn’t dictated by your relationship status, or fitting into a “traditional” age bracket.
Myth #3: I need to make enough money to support a child/another child.
Reality: You only need to make enough money to support yourself and any other dependents. State agencies help with foster child expenses. They do this by providing foster families with a monthly stipend. Foster children are also covered by Medicaid insurance.
Myth #4: I, my spouse, or both of us must be (a) stay-at-home parent(s).
Reality: You can keep your job. Many children in foster homes are of school age and will be away for most of the day. For those that aren’t, or if you work odd hours, the state provides an ABC voucher that will cover childcare costs.
Myth #5: I can’t be a foster parent if I’m not already a parent.
Reality: All parents have to start somewhere! You may not have any parenting experience, but you’re not alone in this. Through Thornwell, you will have training and resources to help you be a great foster parent.
Myth #6: I won’t be able to know what children will be coming into my home.
Reality: No one will force a placement! In order to provide adequate care and safety, you have to be comfortable and prepared. We get that. Thornwell specialists will work with you to make sure that the placement is one that you feel well-equipped to handle.
Interested in Being a Foster Parent or Learning More?
Interested in learning more about Thornwell’s foster care licensing program? Click the button below to find contact information and forms to get you started. We can’t wait to talk to you!