Frequently Asked Questions
Becoming a foster carer can be a big decision, so we have collated our most frequently asked questions. If you don’t find the answer you are looking for, please complete the contact form below.
Children and young people who are unable to live at home need stable and supportive families to care for them until they can safely return home. Most importantly, they need caring, patient and non-judgemental adults who can support them through their experiences and support their connections to their family when they aren’t able to live with them.
Foster care can certainly be a challenging experience and takes a lot of emotional, mental and physical commitment; however it is a very rewarding experience and is a great way to help children and young people and contribute to your community. Having the right mindset, using your strengths and seeking support when you need it are some of the key attributes of a great carer.
Foster carers are responsible for meeting the child’s daily care needs which can include taking them to appointments, supporting their education, working with their counsellors or other therapists, transporting them to spend time with their family, teaching them life skills and ensuring that all the child’s health and wellbeing needs are met.
Carers support children through a range of experiences, emotions and events , such as contact with their family, therapeutic interventions and reunification where possible with their family.
Foster carers also regularly attend meetings or home visits with the child’s care team. This ensures that everyone is kept up to date about the child’s needs and can work to achieve the desired goals for the child.
We know that family is number one and that children and young people should be supported to stay with their family whenever possible. When they can’t, the next best option is that they are able to stay with other family members or people they know and trust, in familiar environments.
Kinship carers are either related to a child, who are well-known to a child or a member of the child’s community. This includes grandparents, aunts and uncles, older siblings, teachers, family friends and mentors.
We recognise that kinship care can be very challenging for the carer, as they are often still trying to support the child’s parents or having to manage family dynamics. We tailor support to their unique situations. Kinship care can give the child the best opportunity to remain connected to their family, loved ones and community whilst the child protection concerns are addressed. We support your transition from family member to carer by explaining the process, child protection system and supports available and advocate for yours and the child’s needs. Kinship Care can be a challenging but very rewarding experience and our kinship carers are a highly valued part of our carer community.
A day, a week or years – it is entirely up to you and your lifestyle needs.
You are free to select from Weekend Care (occasional weekends), Emergency Care (days whenever needed), Short-Term Care (few months up to 2 years) or Long-Term care (years or until child turns 18).
Foster care and adoption are very different. Generally the goal for children placed in out-of-home care is to be reunified to their family when this is safe for them. In some exceptional circumstances carers can become guardians for children, however this only occurs if it is not probable that a child can be reunified to their family.
Foster carers receive an allowance which is a partial reimbursement towards the cost of providing care. This allowance is tax free and aims to cover things like clothes, food and educational needs for the child or young person.
This varies greatly depending on the circumstances of a child needing a home. Sometimes your agency worker might have worked very closely with a particular child before; other times a child will be new into the child protection system and almost nothing will be known about them at first.
All foster carers undergo checks, as do all adult members of your household. These include working with children (blue card) checks and suitability checks through state, national, and international child protection, criminal, traffic, and domestic violence history. We also look at your health and wellbeing, your household safety, and in some cases, references from your family/employer. All couples, whether married or not, must apply to become carers together, and both committed to caring.
We have many years of excellent service to help children coming into our care and our growing team of amazing foster carers. All our support workers are qualified, well-experienced and dedicated to provide the best care for all involved. We provide one-on-one carer support 24/7, training and carer get-together events where carers’ biological families are also welcomed and celebrated. We are a big family and we look forward to you joining us!