Foster Care Myth: Single Parents
A common foster care myth is that single parents can’t foster or adopt from foster care. In reality, single parents can be exactly what a child in foster care needs! Single foster and adoptive parents are in good company, according to the Foster Coalition: about 30% of foster parents are single.
On any given day, there are more than 20,000 children in the Texas foster care system. These children have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. Without a safe, nurturing family, they face months to years of uncertainty alone. More than anything, they need a caring adult to show up for them right now, regardless of whether their permanent outcome is reunification with their biological family, placement with kin, or adoption.
Who Can Foster?
Fox26 recently featured Arms Wide and the need for foster families, sharing that single parent households are just as important for children in foster care. Kenyetta Bolling, who has fostered for the past year and a half, shared her story. Even though she is a single woman, that hasn’t stopped her from making a difference for a 7-year-old girl.
“Love, stability, trust, and consistency are really all a child needs,” Kenyetta said.
Arms Wide’s President and CEO, DeJuana Jernigan, shared that single parents often don’t think they are qualified to foster or adopt. “Most people think you have to own a house, you have to have a lot of money, you have to be married. All those things are myths about foster care,” DeJuana said.
“Families look different; single parent, dual-parent, any race, gender, gender identity.”
Foster parents can change the lives of children in need. They can give children the love and stability they need at a critical time in their lives. Additionally, foster parents like Kenyetta say that the children teach them valuable lessons. “She has taught me to sit back, be mindful, and be cognizant of the simple things we have. The simple things in life that really are the root of happiness,” Kenyetta said.
Single foster parents can be assured that they aren’t in it alone. Arms Wide is there to partner with them throughout their journey.
“We are with them, we’re their support, we’re their parenting partners,” DeJuana said.
Support includes 24/7 access to your Foster Care Coordinator, weekly phone calls, monthly home visits and ongoing training. Interested in starting your foster care journey? Learn more by visiting our Becoming a Foster Parent page or attending a virtual Foster/Adoption Information Meeting.