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Becoming a foster carer is an exciting and life-changing thing to do. But it’s important to remember that the children we find placements for are at a very vulnerable stage in their life. That’s why it’s important 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 three 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.

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.

Take our quiz

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

Some training is compulsory. It varies from state to state but all training will help you learn more about children in care, and the responsibilities and commitments of being a foster carer.

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 a range of checks. These include criminal record checks, working with children 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 get to know you and your family. They’ll find out more about your skills and experience, and prepare an assessment report.

Fostering panel

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. In some states, the government department responsible for child protection makes the final decision about who can be a foster carer.