Foster parenting can be both rewarding and challenging. Children are placed in the foster care system for a plethora of reasons. They already have their own "baggage" and many suffer emotional, physical or even mental problems that can be very difficult to deal with. If you are considering becoming a foster parent, be prepared for just about anything, and keep open communication with the agency you are working with.
In the 1500s, children were placed in homes as indentured servants until they were old enough to live on their own. In 1853, a minister named Charles Loring Brace, after seeing many homeless children sleeping in the streets, founded Children's Aid Society and placed the children in homes throughout the country.
If you want to foster only babies or another particular age range or gender, be sure you make this clear to the agency you are working with. You should also discuss your plans with your spouse and children to be sure everyone is on board.
Statistics for children that "age-out," or turn 18 while in foster care, are not typically in their favour. One in every four former foster kids will become incarcerated with the first 2 years of leaving foster care. More than 20 per cent will become homeless. Only about half will gain their high school diploma.
The misconceptions about foster children and foster care are plenty. Foster kids are often shunned by others due to negative stereotypes. People either believe that the children have been through so much before that they will be on their best behaviour so they will not have to move again, or people believe they are undisciplined, incorrigible brats.
Some well-known people who spent time in foster care include Eddie Murphy, Ice-T, Cher, Marilyn Monroe and Dr. Ruth Westheimer.