Dispelling Common Myths about Foster Care

Dispelling Common Myths about Foster Care
July 17, 2023 Camille Simpson
Dispelling Common Myths about Foster Care

Dispelling Common Myths about Foster Care

Foster care and foster families play a critical role in providing support, care, and safety to children and youth who are unable to live with their biological families and are in the custody and supervision of the state. It can be intimidating to think about becoming a foster family, but for those curious about answering the call, our Foster Care team is there every step of the way offering support and guidance to all who walk the path of opening their heart and their home.

Central Illinois has a high need for more foster families to help the nearly 20,000 youth in care in the state – of which, Peoria County remains consistently in the top three counties for highest number of youths in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

Debunking common myths about foster care can help remove the mystery and misconceptions behind what it means to become a foster family.

Myth: Foster Care means adoption.

Contrary to widespread belief, foster care does not always equate to adoption. The primary goal of foster care is to temporarily provide children with a safe, loving, and nurturing home while their biological family works to improve the conditions that brought the child into foster care – with the goal of reunification with the biological family. Every child’s journey through foster care is unique and the desired outcome does depend on the individual circumstances and best interest of the child.

Myth: The biological family should not get the child back.

It is essential to recognize that some parents may have faced significant individual and generational trauma, which can lead to difficulties in parenting. It is equally as important to remember that people can change and improve when given the necessary support and resources. Our Foster Care team aims to provide assistance to biological parents, too, helping them create a safe and stable environment for their children.

Myth: It will be hard on my kids in the home.

A common concern is how bringing in a foster child might affect the children already living in the family’s home. While the adjustment period can present challenges, foster care agencies and professionals work diligently to ensure a smooth transition for both foster children and their new siblings. By providing proper guidance, support, and resources, foster families can create a nurturing environment where their own children and foster children can thrive together.

Myth: Foster parents must do it alone – with limited help.

Naturally, foster parents often wonder about the level of support they will receive, but various resources are available to aid them at every turn. From caseworkers that can provide connections to additional community resources, to our clinical team, to an education liaison to advocate and support their schooling, parents are never alone in their journey.

Ready to take the next step?

If you have considered becoming a foster parent or learning more, you can contact our Clinical Coordinator of Resources, Andrea Roberts at 309-687-7345 or [email protected].