A Foster Parent in a Facebook group I’m in created this video about thing that people often say to or ask foster parents. It was so funny, and unfortunately, so true. People say the funniest, and sometimes dumbest, things. Thanks Nikki Latshaw for letting us share it here.
I have to admit that I have not been asked or told everything that is on this video, but many of them ring true. As foster parents you will be asked a ton of questions. Some you’ll be able to answer, others you won’t. And some, you won’t want to answer. There are two things to consider. One, there is a very negative perception about foster parents. Two, as foster parents, we are kind of a mystery to people. We need to de-mystify foster parenting and clear up some of the negative misconceptions. The best piece of advice that I can give you is to use peoples questions for their own good. In other words, when asked questions, educate the person asking. Don’t take offense when their questions are stupid and tactless, and don’t offend them by being equally tactless and stupid.
- Do you get paid to keep ‘em?
- I’m honest with people. I can barely afford my own kids. There’s no way I can afford to take care of other peoples’ kids without getting paid for it.
- How much do you make on your foster kids?
- Again, I’m honest here–to a point. I don’t tell people how much we make doing foster care, unless they are seriously considering joining our foster care organization, then I’ll tell them so they’re informed. I do, however, let people know that I can’t afford to lose money doing foster care.
- When people ask this question, refrain from asking how much they make at work. For some reason, they see this as being rude.
- Are you going to adopt them?
- Again, I’m honest here too. We are foster parents who want to help, but up to this point we have only considered adoption once. It didn’t work out. When we’re asked about adoption, we tell people that we’re not planning on it.
- Why would you want to do foster care?
- I explain that we like to help kids in need. We feel it is kind of one of our callings in life. We realize it takes special people to do this, and we’re willing to step up.
- Are you guys crazy?
- Yes, we may be crazy, but it has nothing to do with being foster parents.
- What did they (or their parents) do?
- When people ask this question, I don’t say, “It’s none of your business.” I don’t want to offend people. I simply explain that I can’t share any information. Most people are understanding.
- How do you have time?
- It’s hard, but we make time.
The biggest thing to remember is that we can use peoples curiosity to their advantage and ours. Let’s clear up the negative misconceptions and help people understand what foster parents are all about.
We’d love to hear about some of the questions that you’ve been asked. And, some of the creative answers you’ve come up with. Leave us a comment.