Interested in foster caring?
What is foster care?
Foster care is where a family or an individual cares for other people’s children in their own home. Some children will need care for just a few days, some for a few weeks, and a few for years. We don’t always know how long a child will need care. The type of fostering also depends on the age of the child, and if they have problems such as behavioural difficulties or a disability. The children generally keep in touch with their birth parent(s) and other family members.
What is relative care?
Caring for the child of a relative has been practiced informally throughout history. Today, around half of all children in WA are fostered by relatives. Relatives play an essential role in helping to meet the needs of children who are unable to live with their parents by:
- Providing a home with people they already know and trust
- Maintaining their personal and cultural identity
- Participating as family members in decision making and care for the child/ren
- Helping to keep sibling groups together.
As with general foster care, relative carers are supported through an assessment and training process to help them and their families have successful outcomes for them and the children they are caring for.
Why do some children need foster care?
When children cannot live safely at home for many reasons, they come into the care of the Department for Child Protection and Family Support. Wherever possible, we place these children with relatives or someone close. When this isn’t possible, we consider fostering. Foster care provides a temporary, caring home while the parent and family members receive help. If possible, the children then return to live with their family.
Could I be a foster carer?
Foster carers are everyday people who like helping others, especially children. You can be male or female, single or couples, have children or not, work full or part-time, or be retired. What’s important is your maturity, health and lifestyle. You do need to be able to provide a safe, supportive home for a child who may be troubled or traumatised. You also need to be prepared to attend training and learn new skills.
The need for more Aboriginal carers
Aboriginal children make up about 45% of all children in foster care. Our Department tries wherever possible to place Aboriginal children within their families and local communities to safeguard their identities.
In some cases it may be necessary to place children with families that are not of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, therefore we are always looking for more Aboriginal people from metropolitan, regional, rural or remote locations who may be interested in becoming Foster Carers
We are committed to providing the training and support that you may need but the most important part of becoming a Foster Carer is that you provide a safe place and a nurturing home for these vulnerable children.
We have Aboriginal staff who are available to talk to you further.
Types of foster care and non government agencies
Steps to becoming a foster carer
Information sessions and downloads
Frequently asked questions
Western Australian carers talk about fostering
Caring for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
The need for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) carers