Becoming a foster carer can be an exciting and life-changing journey. It is however important to remember that the children we find placements for are very vulnerable. It is therefore essential that all applicants go through our robust fostering assessment process. This is part of ensuring all the children, young people and families we work with are safe. The assessment process usually takes up to four months from getting in touch with us to becoming a foster carer. The application process for fostering a child can vary depending on the state you live in, but will usually involve the following stages.
Tell us you’re interested
Fill in our short online form or call us on 1800 WE CARE to express your interest in becoming a foster carer. We will send you a booklet called Fostering Matters, which explains more about becoming a carer with us.
Meet someone from our team at your home
Someone from our team will visit you at home to talk about fostering and to find out more about you and your family. After the visit, they will make a recommendation on whether fostering is right for you.
Start your training
Skills to Care is an information day for potential carers. It will help you learn more about children in care, and the responsibilities and commitments of being a foster carer with us.
Fill in your application form
Tell us about you and your family in our foster carer application form. You will also need to give us consent to complete other safety checks. These include criminal record checks, medical reports and character references.
Complete the assessment process
One of our experienced assessors (usually a social worker) will visit your home on a few occasions to meet you and your family. They will find out more about your family history, skills and life experiences. The Department of Communities also will also ask you to complete further preparation training as part of your assessment.
You will see your assessment report before it’s presented to our fostering panel. These are the people who give their recommendation to our state director, who will then make the final decision. The panel is made up of our staff and other people chosen to be objective – like care-leavers and carers from other agencies. We will let you know the decision verbally and in writing.
Thinking of fostering?
Take our short quiz to find out if fostering is right for you. If you’re eligible, one of our team will get in touch with you soon.