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. Children will need either temporary or permanent care depending on where they are on their permanency journey.. The type of carer that will be most suitable for a child will depend on the child’s individual needs. Children generally keep in touch with their birth parent(s) and other family members.
What is relative care?
Caring for the child of a family member has been practiced informally throughout history. Today, around half of all children in Western Australia are fostered by family. Family 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 foster care, family 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 (the Department). Wherever possible, we place these children with family or someone close. When this isn’t possible, we consider foster care. Foster care can provide temporary care, while the birth parents receive help. If possible, the children will return to live with their birth parents.
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 53% 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.
Steps to becoming a foster carer
Information sessions and downloads
Types of foster care and non government agencies
Western Australian carers talk about fostering
Caring for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
The need for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) carers