Back to listing

Five Fostering Myths Debunked

We're on a myth-busting mission to dispel some of the commonly held myths surrounding fostering in a bid to encourage more people to consider fostering.

May 27 2022 - 5 min read

5 Fostering Myths Debunked

Everyone knows that fostering is a commitment that could change more than one life for the better - but there are also many dumbfounded myths out there that are giving fostering a bad rep.

We're on a myth-busting mission to dispel some of the commonly held myths surrounding fostering in a bid to encourage more people to come forward and consider fostering vulnerable children.

Foster parents come from all kinds of backgrounds, cultures and walks of life. We have all sorts of shapes, sizes, ages and plenty of different life experiences. They are from all corners of the world and types of homes. Just as every child is unique, every foster family is unique too.

Myth 1 - “Foster children have massive behaviour issues and they will trash your house”

Myth busted by Ian and Lynne, foster parents for the last year

“It is a common public misconception that every single foster child or teenager out there has behaviour issues and will be disruptive. This simply isn’t the case! We know it happens, but I think that is probably a big hurdle for people considering fostering because like us, you could possibly hold back because of this myth about foster children's behaviours. Every child is so different, and so you can't have just one blanket vision of what a foster child looks like.”

Myth 2 - “Age is a limiting factor when you want to become a foster parent”

Myth busted by Suso, aged 73, foster parent for 23 years

Twenty-three years ago, Suso, now aged 73, was inspired to become a foster carer by his wife Ruth, who was a nursery nurse for several years but always dreamt of extending their family.

However, in 2009, Ruth sadly passed, leaving Suso to look after their foster children alone.

Suso said: “Since my wife died, fostering has really helped me to keep busy and to focus on other things. Ruth inspired me to become a foster carer and it was always her dream to have a big family, so I’m glad I can fulfil this and make her proud, even at the age of 73!”

Myth 3 - “You have to commit to fostering full-time if you want to significantly change a child's life”

Myth busted by Karen, aged 62, respite foster parent for almost 5 years

“Our first foster child came just for the weekend to give both him and his full-time foster parents a break. We had a great time and really enjoyed our weekend together. He continued to come and stay with us for respite. He said to me that we were like his ‘foster grandparents’, which was just so heartwarming to hear.

“We were able to be the one constant for him, whenever he needs a respite placement, he comes to us, and that’s really good. Everything that a foster parent does, whether it’s on a respite or ongoing basis is the same. If we have a child for one night, it is still vital that we know everything possible about fostering, we are all doing the same thing.”

Myth 4 - “I couldn't foster because I'd get too attached”

Myth busted by Jim and Jeanette, foster parents for the last 18 years

“Foster caring is not a job, it is a vocation and they aren’t our foster children, they’re our children. Watching them grow, become lovely young people and do something valuable with their lives is wonderfully rewarding. We just want to offer them a place where they can always go back to if they ever need to, our home will always be their home. People shouldn't worry about attachment, they should worry about the quality of care they are providing.

“We’re big believers that a great difference can be made to the children’s lives with just a bit of love and affection. And, of course, looking after children, regardless of age, will never be a walk in the park. But the rewards are infinite.”

Myth 5 - “You have to have your own children to be able to foster”

Myth busted by Ian and Lynne, foster parents for the last year

“You don't have to have your own children to foster. We’re doing a great job and weren't previously parents ourselves.”

“We felt inspired to become foster parents as we thought it was time in our life to give something back. We haven't got children of our own, so we thought, let's try and do something different. Not having children of our own didn’t hold us back in any way”.

It’s estimated that fostering agencies and local authorities need to recruit a further 5,900 foster families in the next 12 months in the UK. If you’d like to learn more about the role of a foster carer, then please call our friendly team on 0800 3698513 or complete our online enquiry form.