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Some of our most frequently asked questions about foster care have been listed and answered below.
If you are looking for any information you cannot find on this page, please call us today on (08) 8274 5900 or complete our short online enquiry form and we will get back to you. Or why not attend one of our fostering information events and speak to a member of the team in person?
1. What is the difference between a non-government fostering agency and the Department for Families and Communities?
The Department for Families and Communities is responsible for children in foster care and arranging their placements. Non-government fostering agencies like Key Assets work in partnership with the Families SA division of the Department to provide specialist foster care placements where necessary. We have our own team of support workers to ensure that the needs of the foster carers and children are serviced to the highest possible standard.
2. What sort of children and young people are referred to Key Assets?
We accept children and young people from a wide range of age groups, from school age to independence. These children may have experienced early life difficulties and can display challenging behaviour as a result. Our carers receive high levels of support and training in order to help provide these children with brighter futures. Learn more about the children we foster.
3. Who can apply to be a foster carer with Key Assets?
Anyone can apply to be a foster carer. It does not matter if you are married, partnered or single. It is also not important what ethnicity, race, gender or sexual orientation you are.
To become a foster carer with us, you must satisfy certain requirements:
Visit the who can foster page to learn more.
4. Would previous convictions prevent someone from fostering?
A previous criminal conviction does not automatically disqualify you from fostering. It depends on the nature of the conviction and when it took place. It is standard for us to undertake a screening check on all adult members of the household at an early stage in the application process. This information remains strictly confidential. Further information can be found on the how to become a foster carer page.
5. What sorts of checks are carried out on me and my home?
We undertake an assessment process that includes a screening check, checks with the Department for Families and Communities and a home safety check.
6. If I am going to be the main foster carer, do you need to carry out checks on my partner?
Checks must be carried out on all members of the household over the age of 18. This is because Key Assets Fostering regards all couples and families living together as partners in the fostering task, and we require full checks to be taken out on everyone.
7. Can a child I foster share a bedroom with one of my own children?
Key Assets will only place a child in a home where he or she will have their own bedroom, unless they are a sibling group.
8. Can I still go out to work and be a foster carer?
Key Assets Fostering believes that effective foster care can only be achieved with the presence of one foster carer in the home, full time. Our foster carers are highly skilled and we offer them an appropriate weekly fostering payment that recognises this. Call us on 1800 932 273 to learn more.
9. Can I choose how long I want children and young people to stay with me?
Key Assets provides a wide range of foster care placements. Most of our foster carers are encouraged to provide a safe and stable home for children for a significant amount of time. You can also become offer your home for a weekend, a week or two at a time. However, you do need to be aware that it isn’t always possible to know at the beginning of a placement exactly when a child will move on. Visit the foster care placements page for more information.
10. Can I choose which age group or sex I would prefer to foster?
You are reasonably able to choose the age and sex of the child or young person in placement.
11. How much will I know about the young person before they are placed with me?
Key Assets aims to provide you with as much information as possible about a young person and their background. This includes any difficult behaviours or placement breakdowns. However, it is not uncommon for us to have very little information, especially with an emergency placement.
12. Who is responsible for taking the children to school, the doctor, etc?
It is standard for our foster carers to undertake these tasks. However, if you experience difficulties, your Supervising Social Worker will endeavour to make alternative arrangements.
13. Are we allowed to smack foster children?
No form of physical punishment is acceptable under the regulations governing foster care. This includes any form of smacking, slapping or shaking. We provide training to all our carers on alternative and effective ways to cope with any difficult behaviour.
14. What sort of help would I get with a child who has special needs or a disability?
If a child has ongoing medical needs, this will be explained to you before the placement is made and you will receive all the foster carer support you need. This can include providing specialist equipment or training.
15. What sort of support will I get if I’m finding it difficult to cope?
You will have your own Key Assets Supervising Social Worker and our multidisciplinary foster support workers will be made available to you 24-hours a day, seven days a week. We also provide 21 nights’ paid respite for carers per year and additional respite where necessary.
16. What does the weekly allowance cover?
Your weekly fostering allowance is intended to cover all living costs such as food, clothes, basic travel, contribution to household bills, children’s pocket money, regular recreational activities and birthday and Christmas gifts for each child fostered. Learn more about foster carers allowances.
17. What sort of training will I receive?
We provide comprehensive pre- and post-approval foster carer training to support and develop the confidence and competence of all our foster carers. Foster carer training is a vital part of the fostering task and we encourage all our foster carers to attend.
18. If I decide to apply, how long will I have to wait before I begin having placements?
We start the assessment once your application is received. The assessment includes various checks and references. The process can take up to 4 months depending on your availability. When this is complete and you are approved as a foster carer, you can begin taking placements immediately.
If you have any further queries or would like to register your interest, call 1800 932 273 or enquire online today.