So, I'm just going to dish a little right now. I hope you all don't mind.
I'm a specialist in the public schools, and I've had 1 certified therapy dog, he was a rescue anatolian, abandoned by 2 previous owners. I got Cosmo when he was 5.5 yrs old, he past away last feb, and I miss him dearly. he was like a dog polar bear, and beyond chill. very cool dog.
I also was a CASA, court appointed special advocate, for 3 yrs. it's a volunteer position, and we advocate for wards of the court, aka foster kids.
Ok, so I b/c Cosmo was so cool, my other dogs have had a chance to work with kids at my school, and in the summer they worked with all types of students. Cosmo was 125 lbs, Kara my female 130 lbs, Ollie the 1/2 hav and 1/2 shih tzu, he started 'working' too, he's now 14 lbs.
My regular assignment is a K-5 elementary school and my site house 2 special day classes for moderate to severe kids with autism.
Ok...I hate to say this but it's true, please don't judge me, but I love my dogs more than any of my students... I wouldn't want to ever have any of my dogs poked at our even remotely scared.
Luckily my big dogs, Cosmo and Kara love kids and are idiot proof. One student, severely autistic, so interested in Cosmo's teeth b/c they are BIG, she put her hand in his mouth, to touch his teeth and he let her.
even with regular ed. kids here's a list of possible not cool things that can happen to your dog, which HAS happened to one or all of mine while working (and I and all the staff which the kids like hawks):
tail pulled, stepped on,
penis stepped on (preschooler did that, by accident, only 1 time)
pulled ears, fingers in ears
faces put very close to the dogs face
pet the wrong way
stepped on paws
you get the picture. Ollie my little guy, kids ALWAYS try to pick him up, and I tell them not to, even the severely developmentally delayed kids try to pick him up that just can't help it. for my big dogs, the kids like to sit or lay on them or bounce on them.
so yeah, my point is you just never know. I highly suggest before you take them into a foster care situation, start easy with a paws to read program or something like that.
I think the world needs more ppl like you. but like everything there is always a downside, just wanted to make you aware now.
btw I did take Ollie to get certified last yr, but he growled that the friendly dog test item, and then later on, after we failed the test, Ollie tried to mark the same friendly dog. I blame it on his shih tzu side of course.
I try to get all my dogs certified as therapy dogs, it's a great way to bond with your dogs, and for me practical b/c it's such an amazing tool and benefit for my students, and heck it's just down right cool.
good luck. may the force be with you.