Misconceptions of fostering children

Published 11:27 am Wednesday, January 24, 2018

By Chris Kovatch

I must admit I struggled this week with what my topic would be for this column. Normally, my kids give me some sort of inspiration to expand upon, but that has not been the case for this week.

We did receive news about our family adding a new member via a foster placement, but I will share more on that at a later date.

In that same vein, I wanted to share some information about being foster parents and a lot of the misconceptions about it.

I could come up with a million reasons not to be a foster parent and I hear them from others on quite a regular basis. I wanted to share a few of the ones I hear most often and discuss them.

The most widely used reason to not be a foster parent that I hear is that people would get too attached and it would be extremely difficult to give the child back. Guess what? It’s true.

It is an extremely difficult process to go through. However, I would be concerned if it wasn’t difficult. The feelings that you have let you know you are doing something right. They let you know that you did bond with the child and provided the emotional support they so need.

The most difficult part of this process to grasp is that it isn’t about us. It is about the kids who been through things that no one should ever had to experience. It is about giving them a loving home whether it be for a week or forever.

I have to believe that when a child returns home to their parents or other family member, that this is the best thing for them. It also means that another child needs me in their life.

Before I became a foster parent, I felt that many foster parents weren’t in it for the kids. I don’t know how I formed this misconception, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. The foster and adoptive parents I have encountered over the years are some of the best people in the world. They make sacrifices that seem foreign to many people all to care for children that they did not bring into this world. It takes a heart for children to be in this type of service and I applaud those who have stepped up.

A final reason for not fostering or adopting is the cost associated with caring for the children. While every case is different, the State of Texas has programs in place to assist with the child’s care both pre and post adoption.

However, I can guarantee you that every foster parent I know is in their role because of the children. Should funding not exist they would still be there to provide homes for children.

If you have ever considered stepping up to this much needed role, I urge you to reach out to your local CPS office for additional information. There are informational meetings that are held regularly to answer questions.

While we weren’t in the foster program long because we were able to adopt, I have to believe that even impacting the life of one child makes a huge difference. I hope you consider being the parent that so many children need.