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 Steps to becoming a foster carer

Steps to becoming a foster carer

Step 1

Study the information pack

The information booklet contains basic information about becoming a foster carer.

Step 2

Attend an information session

Please note: Due to concerns regarding coronavirus (COVID-19), face-to-face information sessions have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, but you are encouraged to watch the foster care information session video.

You may also view the information session slides.

For more information please call 1800 182 178 to speak to one of our specialist foster care recruitment officers or visit the Foster Carer recruitment page.

Step 3

Expression of interest

Once you and your family have decided to take the next step, please complete the Expression of Interest form and return it.

Step 4

Home visit

After you have sent in your Expression of Interest form, one of our workers will call you to make a time to meet you and your family at home or arrange a time for a phone interview. This is a chance for us to learn more about you and have a look at your home. For you it is an opportunity to hear more about fostering. An application pack may be provided to you following the interview.

Step 5

Application and screening

Complete the Application Form and send it to us. The form asks for background details about you and your family.

Part of your application includes giving permission to carry out Police and Department checks, contact referees, and obtain a health report from your doctor. Foster carers also need a Working with Children Card; you’ll be asked to apply for this later in the assessment process.

If you have completed a previous assessment, we will need permission from you to release your report which will be used to provide evidence required for the current assessment.

Step 6

Assessment

The assessment starts after we have received some of the essential screening information. We will visit you and your family several times in your home. With your assessor you will decide what type of foster care you wish to provide, and what age and gender of child would fit best with your lifestyle. The assessor will discuss with you, your skills and experiences related to the following:

    • responding to a foster child’s emotional, educational, psychological and physical needs;
    • providing a safe home;
    • working as part of a team; and
    • taking the responsibility to learn and develop as a carer.

Step 7

Training

Before your report is presented for approval, you will need to attend 19 hours of preparation training. At these sessions you will learn about why children enter care, their need to remain connected to their birth family and the issues that they may experience, as well as the roles and responsibilities of both yourself and the Department.

Applicants in country districts please note - Availability of training in areas outside of the metropolitan area is variable.

Please contact your local district office for further information.

Step 8

Approval

Your assessor will submit his/her report to the Foster Care Assessment Panel which, in turn, will make a recommendation to the Department about whether or not you should be a foster carer.

If you are approved, you will receive a letter confirming your approval and be asked to sign an agreement with the Department.

The assessment process is very thorough and may, at times, feel intrusive due to our duty of care to you, your family and the children in the Department’s care. This is because of our duty of care.

  Resources

Are you interested in foster caring? (Information packs and Sessions)

 

  Become a Foster Carer
You won't always see where they go. But you can help them get there. Become a foster carer. 1800 024 453
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