By now, you probably already know that becoming a foster parent is an extraordinary way to make a huge difference in a young person’s life. However, more often than not, some people don’t even realize that they’re able to apply, or, they just don’t do it because they think that their application is going to be automatically rejected.
With numbers of children in foster care growing, and the number of foster carers decreasing, please don’t be put off. Children, now, more than ever, need a stable and loving home environment, And honestly? You could be the person to give them just that.
In this article, we’re going to talk about some common misconceptions about fostering – things you probably won’t know until you do your research, and things that you should expect when you come to do your application.
Let’s get started.
12 Common Misconceptions About Foster Care & Things You Probably Didn’t Know
#1 Expect Children to Be Shy at First
This is valuable foster care information for many reasons. The first being that many people assume foster children are loud mouth and ‘’naughty’’. This is simply untrue. In fact, it’s just another misconception about fostering.
Foster children at first are going to be quiet, shy, and reserved. Especially when they first move into your home. But you shouldn’t worry! They will take a while to adjust to their new home, surroundings, and family.
#2 Age IS Just a Number
Many people think that this is a surprising thing about foster care, but there really is no upper age limit on fostering in the UK. While age could be an underlying reason as to why many people don’t foster, it really isn’t an issue.
As long as you’re over 21, you shouldn’t let your age put you off giving a vulnerable child a loving and safe home. In fact, we at Apple Fostering value life experience, we know that with age, comes wisdom.
#3 To Be An Already Existing Parent Isn’t a Requirement
Another common misconception about fostering is that you need to have children already. Sure, having another child in the house can provide you with additional support, and if they’re around the same age, it can provide them with some much-needed company. However, even if you have no children, you’re still able to put through an application. All that really matters is that you’re able to provide a happy, nurturing home environment, and love.
#4 No, You Don’t Need to Be Rich
Of course, without a doubt, it is so important to be able to support any new child financially. However, becoming a foster carer doesn’t solely depend on an overly bulging bank balance. The UK Government will provide you with assistance anyway, which will help you with most of the basics.
What is important, again, is that you’re able to provide a happy and stable family environment for the new addition to the family to grow up in.
#5 It’s OK to Say No
Let’s face it, everybody needs a break from time to time, especially foster carers. If you get asked to look after another child, it’s vital that you don’t forget that you’re perfectly within your rights to say no at any time.
This doesn’t make you selfish, it doesn’t make you a bad person either. What it does do is allow you to look after yourself, and your well-being. After all, this is important in order to look after the well-being of the children within your care too.
#6 Yes, You Can Still Work
Some important foster care information that many people tend to forget, or be unaware of, is the fact that you are still definitely able to have a successful career whilst being foster parents.
Although, you do need to ensure your core responsibilities as a foster parent are constantly being met. As long as you do this, there is absolutely no reason why you’re not able to thrive in your career. In fact, many foster parents continue to work in part-time roles, so they can enjoy the best of both worlds.
#7 The Application Process Isn’t Difficult When Done With the Right Agency
If you’re put off by the application process, forget about it! The right agency, like us at Apple Fostering, will be there to guide you through the whole process from start to finish, making it seamless.
Sure, it may be lengthy. However, you will have enough support to guide you along the way. Plus, it’s going to be so worth it in the end when you’re assigned with a child you can love and care for!
#8 Foster Caring Isn’t Only for Women
A huge common misconception about fostering is that only women are allowed to apply to become foster parents. This is not a surprising thing about foster care, as it is just simply untrue. In fact, unique male foster parents are now becoming widely recognised, so if you’re a guy, don’t hold off from making an application!
#9 You Don’t Have to Be a Homeowner
Foster care information varies about this, but let’s set the record straight right now – you don’t have to be a homeowner in order to become a foster carer. There are many foster parents out there who live in rented accommodation, so don’t worry if you don’t own your home! The most important thing is that you have enough room for the child to develop and grow comfortably.
#10 ‘’Fostering is Uncommon’’
There are currently more than 63,000 children living in safe, and beautiful foster homes all over the UK. A common misconception about fostering is that it is something only a small number of people consider. Whilst there is a current foster care shortage due to the pandemic, it doesn’t mean that it is uncommon for people to usually take children into their care.
You shouldn’t let this put you off. If you have a spare room, spare time, and want to become a foster carer for the right reasons, then go for it. Trust us, seeing foster children smile and experience a safe and blessed life will make it all worth it.
#11 Surprisingly Insensitive Experiences
Although this is not an overly surprising thing about foster care, it’s definitely one to be aware of. If you’re going to become a foster carer, you’re going to need to have thick skin.
Unfortunately, you may find friends and family suddenly come out with some insensitive remarks like ‘’You’re brave’’, or, ‘’What’s the mother’s story?’’. This is again, based around common misconceptions about fostering, and comes from being uneducated and ignorant.
Don’t fret though, you’re doing an unbelievably beautiful and powerful thing. Believe us, you will learn to not allow anybody the opportunity to put you or your foster child down.
#12 Their Parents Are Also Human
When you meet with a child, you’re extremely likely to hear about their very difficult story. With that, it’s completely normal to feel some deep resentment towards their biological parents. However, hate isn’t the answer. It never is.
Instead of focusing so much on hate, it’s in your best interest, and their best interest to help them move past their bad experience, keep them positive, and encourage an open mind. They will learn from your behavior, so make it positive at all times.
Become a Foster Parent Today!
We hope that all of this foster care information enlightened you on some of the common misconceptions about fostering. And, we also hope that you’re now much more open to it!
If all these surprising things about foster care offered you food for thought, why not call us today to discover more? Drop us a line by clicking here, and we’ll be more than happy to answer any further questions.