There is a lot of miscommunication and myths surrounding the requirements of becoming a foster parent. Sometimes people have this idea that a person must be perfect or “straight laced” in order to foster children. However, there are plenty of amazing foster parents who might break that mold. As alcohol is legal for people over 21, there is no rule against foster parents drinking alcohol. Though there are exceptions, there is also no need for any judgment or worry about most who choose to consume alcohol. However, depending on how old the child is and the parent(s)’ history, alcohol may have to be consumed away from home only.

Growing up, my parents did not drink except on a special occasion. Even then, it was one drink to toast and that is where it stopped. Alcoholism ran rampant on my mother’s side, and two immediate family members died at the hands of drunk drivers. For this reason, alcohol was demonized in my mind. As a teenager, I was a part of a youth group, and we were attending a small group at the home of one of the leaders. As I went to get water from the refrigerator, I noticed a six pack of beer, and my heart sank. While my understanding has changed as I have gotten older, my teenage mind did not understand how someone I respected drank alcohol, as it was so demonized in my home. I only knew how alcohol ruined lives.

I mention this story to note that a foster parent may have a foster child in their home who came from a home where substance abuse and alcoholism were prevalent. While it may be okay for the foster parent to drink and they may do so responsibly, it may be an emotional trigger for the child to see it in the home or see the foster parent consume alcohol. The point of foster homes is for children to have a safe space both physically and emotionally. While alcohol may not be a big deal for someone who has always drunk responsibly, it may be wise to take alcohol out of the home while the child is there. This would also pertain to any child who may have an alcohol problem personally.

Lita Jordan is a master of all things “home.” A work-from-home, stay-at-home, homeschooling mother of five. She has a BA in Youth Ministry from Spring Arbor University. She is married to the “other Michael Jordan” and lives on coffee and its unrealistic promises of productivity. Lita enjoys playing guitar and long trips to Target. Follow her on <a href=”//”>Facebook.</a>