The most common myths about foster care that keep people from deciding to go

Myth #1: Only spouses can become foster parents

An adoptive marriage is certainly not a condition. Anyone can apply for custody of a child – spouses, life partners, same-sex couples and single people. The key is mainly the relationship with children and the desire to help, not marriage.

In the case of unmarried couples, the court entrusts the child to the custody of one of them, although they of course usually participate in the upbringing together.

“Foster parents can be families with younger and older children, childless couples and people without partners. The most important prerequisite is having a good relationship with the children, energy and the a desire to help a child in need, a willingness to work on oneself and to be part of the child protection system,” describes Klára Laurenčíková from the Commission on the Rights of the Child.

Myth #2: You can’t decide which child to care for

Anyone wishing to become a foster family can specify in advance the type of child they want and can take care of. Even before you at the regional office or the town hall the city of Prague will include it in the register of people suitable to become foster parents, you will have an in-depth discussion with experts about the child you are ready to accept and the children who really need a foster family.

This way, you will also have the space to assess your limits and specify what you don’t feel too much about and what you wouldn’t believe in, such as the child’s age, health status or the number of children admitted. .

“The regional authority takes these ideas into account and considers the potential for care when mediating foster care. It then carefully selects the family that is best suited for the child. good news can ring at any time, other times it takes weeks or months,” says Milena Johnová, councilor of the capital of the city of Prague for social policy and health care.

Myth #3: Children in institutions are problematic and unmanageable

Genes, environment and coincidences influence the formation of every personality and character. Children in foster care face various traumas and difficult life experiences, and it is extremely difficult for them to perceive the world as a safe place where they can trust others again.

It’s true that raising a child in foster care often means dealing with difficult issues. Developmental delay due to neglected upbringing, mistreatment, abuse, death of parent, parent in prison, medical condition, mental disorder, minority ethnic group . However, all of this can be done.

You will never be alone in a host family. Advice and support is provided by support organizations with psychologists and other professionals who help strengthen the relationship between surrogate parents and children. The strong community of host families and, last but not least, the immediate environment, such as extended family, friends and acquaintances, also provide advice and support.

Children with such a history need all the more help to deal with their insecurities and difficulties. With their emotion and warmth, foster parents help them develop healthy self-confidence and find their place in society. Each child must be accepted as is. He must feel that he belongs somewhere and that he can do something.

Myth #4: Every homestay is short-lived

We distinguish between temporary foster care and so-called long-term foster care. While children generally do not have to stay in foster care for a transition period of more than a year, so-called long-term foster care can last until the child reaches adulthood. , and even then the child often remains with the foster family.

During a transitional period, foster parents provide children with what is called crisis care, during which the child’s biological family is given space to adapt their conditions and take the child back to their guard as soon as possible. If the parents fail to adjust their conditions sufficiently to ensure adequate care for the children, the children must find another stable family environment. The authorities then usually look for suitable so-called long-term adoptive parents for the children.

However, even after having entrusted a child to the so-called long-term foster family, it may happen that the parents adapt their conditions so that the children can return to their care.

The eventual return of the child to its family of origin is always decided by a court, which assesses what is in the best interests of the child. Sometimes the child grows up in a foster family until he becomes a full member and becomes a full member. But at the same time, he knows his roots, his biological parents, and thanks to his knowledge of his entire life story, he understands why he cannot grow up with his biological parents.

Myth #5: Foster care is not mastery

The foster parents have no maintenance obligation towards the children, they are not their legal representatives, efforts are made to maintain regular contact between the child and his biological family.

Foster parents are supported by the state for their care of adopted children with foster allowances, foster families are also in regular contact with a social worker, or other experts, psychologists , etc

The adoptive parents, on the other hand, become the legal guardians of the children and are registered on the birth certificate of the children in place of their parents. Adoptive families no longer receive special financial assistance from public finances and are not required by law to be in contact with social workers and other professionals.

Most children in collective settings are only suitable for foster care, only a real fraction of them lose their parents completely and become supposedly legally free to adopt.

Myth 6 Children placed in institutions lack for nothing

Unlike institutional care, the principle of family care is a family with one or more permanent surrogate parents. Living here is therefore similar to living in a normal family, so that the child can experience the completely natural atmosphere of the family environment and take away the behavior patterns learned to function in a normal family.

Every child has the right to grow up in a family. In addition to food and clothing, he needs the arms of an ordinary person who can care for him and love him. Children need to build a strong emotional bond as an essential part of their lives and a happy future. Unfortunately, the best orphanage cannot.

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