There are myths of fostering…and I want to show you a Reason to Foster and Adopt. This is #1 in a series.
When we start the process to adopt, we get a shock. It is expensive, you have to choose the child you want (and the questions are awkward), you have different prices depending on the skin color, etc.. So we have a tough time choosing to adopt. When we talk to several people about our personal challenge in adoption, one family recommends we try foster care.
They explain, “You get to help out children, experience the child in your family, and if they come up for adoption, it is an easy transition because you know the child and the child knows you.” This makes sense to us, so we begin the process.
What we did NOT expect: the questions we receive and the prejudices. We learn there is a stigma attached to fostering and it unfortunately hurts the children!
Here are some of the comments we get and some facts to debunk these myths of fostering. We will share our opinion and hopefully inspire you to consider fostering to adopt, and at the very least help to get more people involved to changing a system worldwide.
Reason to Foster and Adopt #1: It’s not about the money…for most
Just like chess, it’s all about how you plan and play the game. In order to become a foster care provider, there are many processes you go through. The requirements are the same and possibly more than a person beginning a daycare business. There are extensive inquiries and disclosures on your finances.
However, the money issue seems to be a taboo topic. At the end of a very enlightening 10-week course, we ask the instructor to explain the issue with the money and if a family receives funds? The answer returns with vagueness. As we actually take in a child we discover the monthly stipend is about one hundred dollars a week but varies on many factors. In our scenario, the amount given to assist with the child is less than it would cost to put a child into daycare. For example;
- $100 per week received to foster a child. 24 hours, 7 days/week responsibility including weekends
- $150 per week earned to keep a child in daycare, 8-10 hours/day, 5 days per week
[This is the average amount in our area,but the ratio is comparable even if your location is higher or lower in costs] Also, we have not received foster monies for 3 years, so the amounts may have changed.]
Therefore, unless you get additional assistance, there is not enough foster money provided to cover the cost for a daycare program for more than 2 1/2 weeks. Plus, daycare only keeps a child from morning until dinner. When we take in a child we get day, evenings, night time and weekends too.
The point is that if a person is in fostering for the money, it would be a better business decision to open up a daycare at home. So this is NOT a Reason to Foster and Adopt.
Yet we are asked by friends and acquaintances alike, “Why are you fostering, you don’t need the money, Why are you doing this?” We realize there is a huge unknown out there. We live in an affluent community and many of our neighbors are troubled that we are engaging in fostering. The perceptions of fostering are harmful and inhibiting and untrue. And the money is certainly not an issue, it is a small amount which we use for very intent purposes with the child. (Ideas shared later below.)
The problem is that some really great people who have the means to give awesome opportunities to some children are inhibited by bad Public Relations and bad myths of fostering.
It is notable to mention that the biological parent receives at least twice the amount of money than a foster family with the child. Many Social Workers have described this as the distraction for biological parents. It is a monetary distraction to keep the child as a source of income rather than truly nurturing a child.
The Public Relations (public perception) is so bad, that society is actually going outside of the country to adopt children. And this happens in many other countries too. We should have equal opportunity to help out our local community as well as reach out to help other nations. And we have tens of thousands of 18 year olds “aging-out” of a system every year without a legal family and no longer in the foster system. Many of these children are incarcerated within two years.
More of the great stories need to be shared, rather than these sensationalist stories.
There are so many wonderful stories of fostering. Generally speaking, most people foster because they truly want to help children. Check out this site for more on fostering. The people we know in the fostering program consist of more than half who have been in the foster program growing up and wanted to extend the love forward to a child in this predicament. We found all the families we meet to be amazing, loving, and inspiring. There are exceptions to every rule, but the majority of foster parents just love helping chlldren.
Ways to spend stipend when fostering:
- Pay for natural healthcare products , my resource if you are interested in oils
- Go to a natural doctor (which is not covered by healthcare plans in the U.S. yet!),
- Passes to entertainment venues,
- Savings for the child’s later years,
- Special gifts,
- Help for bio-parents, or
- You can forfeit funds from the State and allow a redistribution.
- You can also eat more healthy which will benefit everyone! and
- Buy Kids Clothier
The money should not be taboo. Clearly, this myth of fostering needs to be eliminated, because there are many children in each country that need a loving home. They are the ones hurt by this prejudice because some really good parents are not getting involved. We need to change the Public Relations on this issue. Consider getting involved and helping out a child or two. You will help build a better future and shape a child for success. As a bonus, you will find some blessings through the process.
More of a Reason to Foster and Adopt:
- College is paid for when you adopt a foster child
- This child receives supplemental healthcare
- Sometimes a stipend is given to help offer extra care, lessons or savings
Reason to Foster and Adopt #2 to follow.