Myth 1: “Foster children are bad and damaged beyond repair.”
This is one of the most harmful and inaccurate myths about foster care. Foster children are children who need a safe home and the nurturing protection of a stable adult who cares for them. Foster children can be confused and disorientated in their new home. They can act out because they don’t feel safe and being moved into care can disrupt their schooling, causing them to fall behind. But if they receive compassion, patience and understanding care, they can calm down, settle in and begin to thrive. Foster children face many unique challenges but one of the most unfair hurdles they face is the stigma society places on them.
Myth 2: “I can’t be a foster carer, I have a full time job.”
Over 62% of Victorians thought that being a foster carer was a full time job, which meant they couldn’t do it if they already worked 9 – 5. But the truth is, parents have full time jobs and so can you when you’re a foster carer. OzChild can help recommend childcare options and work with you and your support network to tackle how to be a carer with a full time job.
Myth 3: “I can’t be a foster carer, it’s far too expensive.”
25% of Victorians thought foster carers needed to be well-off. While you do need to be financially stable, you don’t need to be rich to be a foster carer. All you need is a secure home, a good social network and the desire to protect and care for vulnerable children and young people. Plus, there are financial reimbursements for foster carers to help with their expenses.
Myth 4: “I couldn’t be a foster carer, I would get too attached.”
It’s true that carers get attached and can feel sad when a child leaves, but our carers tell us that it’s worth it. No matter when a child’s time with you ends, they will never forget you and the difference you made in their life.
Myth 5: “My kids wouldn’t like it if I become a foster carer. ”
Your family’s needs are of course most important, but did you know that some of our biggest advocates are the children of foster carers who are vocal about how much they enjoy sharing their lives with other kids? They love spending time with their “foster siblings”.
Myth 6: “I don’t think people will let me be a foster carer, I’m gay.”
This is not true. As long as you are committed to caring for children and have the necessary space and security in your residence for a child or young person, you can transform their life.
Myth 7: “I’m too old to become a foster carer. ”
Anyone above the age of 21 can apply to become a foster carer as long as you’re healthy and capable of caring for a child. Some of our more senior foster carers have the stability, wisdom and patience that children and young people really need to feel safe, settle in, and make progress in their life.
Myth 8: “Foster carers can’t choose who they care for.”
OzChild respects the right of carers to accept or decline the placement of a child, whether it’s because they feel unable to provide for that child’s needs or due to their own circumstances.
Myth 9: “I can’t be a foster carer, I’m a single man. ”
Both men and women, whether single or not, can make great foster carers. If you’re a single man and you have energy, patience, and you care about children, you could be a carer.
Myth 10: “I’ve never had kids, how can I possibly be a foster carer? ”
Some of our most long-standing, effective, successful and vocal foster carers are people who have never had children of their own.