Becoming a foster carer is an exciting and life-changing thing to do. But it’s important to remember that the children we find families for are at a very vulnerable stage in their life. That’s why it’s important that all our foster carers go through our robust fostering assessment process. It helps make sure all the children, young people and families we work with are safe.
It 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 tell us you’re interested in becoming a foster carer. We’ll 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 becoming a foster carer. After their visit, they’ll put together an initial report and let you know next steps.
Start your training
Preauthorisation training is a compulsory course 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. We also do Shared Lives training, which lasts two days and a night.
Fill in your application form
Tell us about you and your family in our foster carer application form. You’ll also need to give us consent to complete other checks. These include criminal record checks, medical reports and references.
Complete the assessment process
One of our experienced assessors (usually a social worker) will visit your home on around five to seven occasions to meet you and your family. They’ll find out more about your skills and experience, and ask for details about your family for your assessment report.
You’ll see your assessment report before it’s presented to our fostering panel. These are the people who give their recommendation to our state director to help them 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’ll let you know when you’re approved verbally and in writing, along with a welcome letter, certificate of approval, carer ID card and access to our carer net.
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.