Myth #1: Teenagers in Foster Care were placed there because of behavioral issues or delinquency.
Many believe that children end up in Foster Care because of their own juvenile delinquency--that they are not adopted because they are "too bad" or "troubled" to deserve a loving family. Many youth in Foster Care enter Foster Care due to parental abuse or neglect, not through any fault of their own. And for the thousands of youngsters who age out of Foster Care every year, they are more likely to continue to face unemployment, homelessness, early teenage pregnancy or even incarceration. These teenagers need a family who helps support them through tough times and who guides them as they grow and make the transition to adulthood.
Myth #2: You must have experience caring for teenagers.
You do not need to have had your own teenagers or have had experience with teenagers. What you do need to have is a strong desire to open your heart and home to young people who need to be loved and protected.
Sure, if you have teenagers of your own, you know the demands involved in caring for children on the cusp of adulthood. If you have not had children and are nervous about taking on a new career as a Foster Parent, do not worry, you are part of a team. You will network with other foster families who will be more than eager to share their experiences and advice. You will also have a Foster Care Case Specialist and other experts, should you have any questions or concerns.
Myth #3: Only couples can foster a teenager.
This is definitely not true. You can be single, in a relationship or married. Your relationship status does not play a role in determining whether you can be a good Foster Parent or not. Some potential foster parents assume that they are not allowed to foster because they are single, but this is simply not true. A potential Foster Parent needs to be 21 years of age or older and healthy.
Myth #4: You must be a homeowner.
There is no such requirement. You can be a homeowner or a renter. Whether you currently have a mortgage, or rent , this will have no impact on your assessment, nor your ability to become an exceptional foster parent.
One of the very few requirements is that you’re able to provide a child or young person with safe, secure and loving environment that will improve their wellbeing, to which having a suitable spare bedroom is essential.
Now that we’ve debunked many of the myths surrounding foster care requirements, isn’t it time you got in touch to start your fostering journey? It could change your life. To learn more about our amazing Foster Care program, visit www.auberle.org/foster-care