Have questions?

We're here to help! We’ve pulled together the most commonly asked things about becoming and being a foster or kinship carer.

Download the information kit

Just started researching foster & kinship care? Download our Information Kit for an overview and introduction to becoming a carer.

About foster care

Foster care is a form of family-based care for children and young people who can’t live at home for various reasons. Where possible, children are reunited with their families as soon as possible. 

When children are in care, they need a safe and stable home environment so they can be themselves and thrive.

We support people like you to make a real difference to the lives of kids in foster care. Our experience and the backing of Anglicare has created safe and supportive foster care communities for close to 30 years.

Our person-centred approach means we work with you to find out how foster caring can fit with your lifestyle. We connect with you at every stage of your foster care journey, supporting and connecting you to training so you will have the skills you need to be a great carer. We also offer resources and access to wider community groups.

If you decide to take the foster care journey, a Foster Care Case Practitioner will be with you every step of the way. The role of a Case Practitioner is to recruit, train, assess, and support foster carers. 

Case Practitioners are also responsible for matching children with an appropriate foster family. Case Practitioners are part of a wider team who also provide intensive support to children and carers. 

Almost anyone who wants to make a difference in a child’s life can become a foster carer.

To be eligible to apply, you will need to be at least 18 years of age. You also need to commit to home safety and personal background checks, as well as foster care training, so you have the skills you need to be a great carer.

Many people rule themselves out and think they can’t apply. It doesn’t matter if you are single, male or female, in a same sex partnership, have other children at home or no children at all.

What matters is your passion to make a difference. We’ll chat with you about your personal situation with you during the application process to see what the options are.

Our foster carers come from all walks of life, everyday Australians who are doing extraordinary things, you can read their stories here.

And there are so many ways you can get involved outside of being a foster carer, like donating a school bag with supplies. You can find out how you can get involved here.

Becoming an approved foster carer is a deeply personalised journey that we take with you. The application process is relatively straight-forward, but understandably thorough and can take up to 6 months. Although it involves interviews, safety checks and skills training, we’re here to support you at every step along the way.

If you're interested in finding out more, the first thing to do is speak to one of our experienced team who can talk you through how it all works.

You can also send through your details through our Contact Form or attend one of our Information Sessions to find out more.

You may choose to be a part-time or full-time carer. Whatever you decide, you can still make a significant impact on a child or young person’s life.

You can choose to offer short-term, long-term, emergency or short breaks (also known as respite care, in which you are giving other long term carers a break).

Many foster carers start with short break (respite) care and become full time foster carers after gaining some experience.

Emergency care is where children or young people urgently need a safe place to stay for a short period of time. This may happen when a child first comes into care or while they are waiting to move to a new family. Emergency carers are often skilled in helping children who have experienced abuse and trauma.

Respite carers can look after children for a weekend or a few weeks so that their long-term carers can have a break. You can read about foster carer Alan's experience with respite care here.

Short-term carers look after children for weeks or months, up to a maximum of two years while longer term plans are being made.

Long-term placements are for children who can't return to live with their families. Carers provide a safe and stable home until they turn 18 years old and start adulthood.

Children and young people arrive in care for many different reasons. It may be due to neglect, abuse or trauma. When their families can't help to care for them, that's where we step in.

You will be matched with a child who needs your unique life experience and skills at this critical point in their childhood to create positive memories and feel safe and loved during challenging times.

We're here for you to work hand in hand - together - to build a strong, safe and nurturing environment as a launch pad for your foster child to thrive.

A kinship carer is someone who is known to the child. It’s usually other family members. Community members, like teachers, who know a child who has entered care can also apply to be assessed.

If you’re a member of the child’s extended family, or a close family friend, we might ask you if you are able to help care for them.

Other community members like a teacher for example who knows the child can also apply to be assessed.

You’ll get the same support as other carers, but you won’t necessarily need the training.

In fact Alan in our Carer Stories started as Kinship Carer in his role as a teaching assistant. You can read his story here.

An understanding of culture is at the heart of your child’s identity and it’s important they feel involved and engaged with this as part of their care experience.

And this is taken into account with a personalised cultural support plan that we’ll create together. It is regularly reviewed every six months to ensure your child continually has the opportunity to connect, learn and engage.

We know how important it is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to maintain the bond and connections to culture and community.

To prepare you, we provide cultural awareness training that is sensitive and specific to their needs.

Plus we’ll also assign you a cultural support worker who will be your point of contact and connection to culture for you child.

To learn more about how we support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids, click here.

“My case worker at Anglicare has been so supportive throughout it all. Nothing’s too much trouble for them. There is always support there and they are onto any issues quickly.” Alan, Foster Carer for 7 years.

About you as a carer

Almost anyone who wants to make a difference in a child’s life can become a foster carer.

To be eligible to apply, you will need to be at least 18 years of age. You also need to commit to home safety and personal background checks, as well as foster care training, so you have the skills you need to be a great carer.

Many people rule themselves out and think they can’t apply. It doesn’t matter if you are single, male or female, in a same sex partnership, have other children at home or no children at all.

What matters is your passion to make a difference. We’ll chat with you about your personal situation with you during the application process to see what the options are.

Our foster carers come from all walks of life, everyday Australians who are doing extraordinary things, you can read their stories here.

And there are so many ways you can get involved outside of being a foster carer, like donating a school bag with supplies. You can find out how you can get involved here.

Becoming an approved foster carer is a deeply personalised journey that we take with you. The application process is relatively straight-forward, but understandably thorough and can take up to 6 months. Although it involves interviews, safety checks and skills training, we’re here to support you at every step along the way.

If you're interested in finding out more, the first thing to do is speak to one of our experienced team who can talk you through how it all works.

You can also send through your details through our Contact Form or attend one of our Information Sessions to find out more.

You may choose to be a part-time or full-time carer. Whatever you decide, you can still make a significant impact on a child or young person’s life.

You can choose to offer short-term, long-term, emergency or short breaks (also known as respite care, in which you are giving other long term carers a break).

Many foster carers start with short break (respite) care and become full time foster carers after gaining some experience.

Emergency care is where children or young people urgently need a safe place to stay for a short period of time. This may happen when a child first comes into care or while they are waiting to move to a new family. Emergency carers are often skilled in helping children who have experienced abuse and trauma.

Respite carers can look after children for a weekend or a few weeks so that their long-term carers can have a break. You can read about foster carer Alan's experience with respite care here.

Short-term carers look after children for weeks or months, up to a maximum of two years while longer term plans are being made.

Long-term placements are for children who can't return to live with their families. Carers provide a safe and stable home until they turn 18 years old and start adulthood.

It's a common misconception that you need to own your own home. You don't need to be a homeowner. If you are renting you might need approval from your real estate agency or landlord to have another child or young person in the home.

For sure! Flexibility is important and we’ll work with you to map out the best way for you to become a carer that suits your lifestyle and working arrangements.

In fact you can also be retired and offer foster care. Almost anyone who wants to make a difference in a child’s life can apply.

If you are retired, the wealth of experience you bring makes you a fantastic foster carer. Just take a look at our carer stories.

If you want to learn more about the financial support available click here for more.

Yes definitely! Caring for children is an extremely rewarding and fulfilling experience. However we know it can, at times, be demanding. So it’s important to us that you take the time to recharge and take a break.

We’re here to support you and will work with you to book in regular or one off breaks so you get the time you need.

If you’re over 18, in good health and want to make a positive difference – great, you can apply.

Many of our senior carers are retirees and have been carers for decades. So if you are facing an empty nest and would love to do something meaningful, you can definitely apply.

Your wealth of life experiences make you a fantastic mentor for boys and girls of all ages. You can read Ruth and Peter’s story about their 25 years’ experience of caring for children here.

No educational qualifications are needed for you to apply. You will need to be at least 18 years of age to apply, and undergo an assessment that includes a Working with Children check, also known as a Blue Card, plus history checks as part of the application. You will also need to commit to foster care training and any additional training to ensure you have the skills to meet the needs of the child in care.

If you’re not sure if your previous history will affect your application, please contact us via this contact form detailing your situation and we can advise you of what the outcome might be.

As part of the process you will be asked to complete a background check and disclose any criminal history. We keep everything you share as confidential information.

Couple smiling at foster son

“The most rewarding part is knowing you’ve helped a young person in need to have as normal a life as possible.” Sarah, Foster Carer for 17 years.

About your foster child

Supporting the child’s connection to their families and having a positive relationship between everyone involved in the care of the child is important to their development. This would only happen if it is safe for the child to be in contact.

The ideal outcome is to eventually reunite your child with their family.

Children and young people arrive in care for many different reasons. It may be due to neglect, abuse or trauma. When their families can't help to care for them, that's where we step in.

You will be matched with a child who needs your unique life experience and skills at this critical point in their childhood to create positive memories and feel safe and loved during challenging times.

We're here for you to work hand in hand - together - to build a strong, safe and nurturing environment as a launch pad for your foster child to thrive.

When you start your journey to becoming a foster carer, we will spend the time to get to know you and your family. We’ll figure out what you think will work best for you. Think of us as a bridge linking you and your foster child, helping you to build a connection with them.

Every child you care for will bring out different strengths in you. You'll always learn something new and unexpected with each experience. What’s constant is that boys and girls of all ages will benefit from the consistent care and stability you provide.

We understand how important your family dynamic is. It's hard to imagine having a child, a boy or girl in your home and how they will settle in. But rest assured, we're here ready to help you through the ups and downs which is part and parcel of the day to day life with children and teenagers to make it the most rewarding and fulfilling time for you and your family.

We’ll always aim to give you as much information as possible about your potential foster child so you can make an informed decision.

Sometimes if it’s an emergency we must move the child to safety quickly so we might not have all the information to hand at the time, but we’ll always try and follow up and to get you up to speed afterwards so you are prepared.

“It brings us a lot of joy, being able to feel the love in our home.” Peter, Foster Carer for 25 years.

Finance

At all stages, we’re here to help you fulfil your role as a carer, however, it’s important that you are still able to financially support yourself and your family.

The financial support available for your foster child includes Queensland government payments like the Fortnightly Carers Allowance. The amount you get will depend on a number of factors such as your child’s age. The payment would be expected to meet the basic day to day costs for things like shoes, clothing and so on.

We will work with you so it's clear from the start as to who has financial responsibility for costs that fall outside the Fortnightly Carers Allowance.

There are also a range of other financial options available you may be able to apply for including:

  • caring for children with high support or complex special needs
  • if you live in a regional or remote area
  • unexpected expenses for example that will come out of the child needing extra support over and above government and other payments (on a case by case basis).

Plus, you can also apply to have pre planned expenses reimbursed through a scheme called 'Child Related Costs'. This would be in discussion with us and your Child Safety Officer.

These costs are considered on a case by case basis and include things like:

  • educational costs for general schooling and vocational training.
  • healthcare costs including general medical, physical and mental health specialists,
  • travel costs for visiting family, court attendances and some overseas travel costs (based on Guardian consent for the child to travel).
  • recreation costs including leisure and recreational activities including pocket money,
  • purchase of gifts, hobbies, entertainment, holiday expenses.

If you need to talk to someone, we are always here to help you and you can call us any time day or night through our 24 hour support phone line.

You can read more about the financial support available to carers in our Resources section here.

For sure! Flexibility is important and we’ll work with you to map out the best way for you to become a carer that suits your lifestyle and working arrangements.

In fact you can also be retired and offer foster care. Almost anyone who wants to make a difference in a child’s life can apply.

If you are retired, the wealth of experience you bring makes you a fantastic foster carer. Just take a look at our carer stories.

If you want to learn more about the financial support available click here for more.

Yes, there is financial support available. We cover off the support available here.

Before a child arrives you’ll need to have the basics set up and ready in their room like pyjamas, underwear, toiletries and so on.

After they arrive, you can help them personalise their rooms with their favourite colours - for example, a themed doona cover or some new clothing for their wardrobe. This is a great way to get to know them and build rapport. Some of the smallest actions can have a big impact.

If you’re unsure as to the best ways to prepare and approach it you can always contact us as we’re happy to help you with ideas and advice.

Family in park

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a CEO or a part time cleaner. It’s the solidness of the carer that counts with our kids.” Julie, Foster Carer.

Home setup

It's a common misconception that you need to own your own home. You don't need to be a homeowner. If you are renting you might need approval from your real estate agency or landlord to have another child or young person in the home.

Not necessarily. It’s important for children and young people in care to feel a sense of their own space and privacy. By providing the child their own space, it will help them to relax, feel safe and comfortable in their new home. 

It may mean they share a room or perhaps have a room by themselves. It really depends on what would work best for your family and the child.

During the application process, we'll talk about what kind of space you need at home to accommodate children and young people in your care.

Children in your care will need some space and privacy. As part of the application process we’ll assess your home to ensure it is a safe and secure environment.

Ideally the child will have their own room, however in some circumstances it may be appropriate and okay for them to share. It really depends on what would work best for your family and the child. 

Contact us today if you’re concerned about whether your home would be suitable.

Yes, there is financial support available. We cover off the support available here.

Before a child arrives you’ll need to have the basics set up and ready in their room like pyjamas, underwear, toiletries and so on.

After they arrive, you can help them personalise their rooms with their favourite colours - for example, a themed doona cover or some new clothing for their wardrobe. This is a great way to get to know them and build rapport. Some of the smallest actions can have a big impact.

If you’re unsure as to the best ways to prepare and approach it you can always contact us as we’re happy to help you with ideas and advice.

“My case worker at Anglicare has been so supportive throughout it all. Nothing’s too much trouble for them. There is always support there and they are onto any issues quickly.” Alan, Foster Carer for 7 years.

Support

We support people like you to make a real difference to the lives of kids in foster care. Our experience and the backing of Anglicare has created safe and supportive foster care communities for close to 30 years.

Our person-centred approach means we work with you to find out how foster caring can fit with your lifestyle. We connect with you at every stage of your foster care journey, supporting and connecting you to training so you will have the skills you need to be a great carer. We also offer resources and access to wider community groups.

If you decide to take the foster care journey, a Foster Care Case Practitioner will be with you every step of the way. The role of a Case Practitioner is to recruit, train, assess, and support foster carers. 

Case Practitioners are also responsible for matching children with an appropriate foster family. Case Practitioners are part of a wider team who also provide intensive support to children and carers. 

At all stages, we’re here to help you fulfil your role as a carer, however, it’s important that you are still able to financially support yourself and your family.

The financial support available for your foster child includes Queensland government payments like the Fortnightly Carers Allowance. The amount you get will depend on a number of factors such as your child’s age. The payment would be expected to meet the basic day to day costs for things like shoes, clothing and so on.

We will work with you so it's clear from the start as to who has financial responsibility for costs that fall outside the Fortnightly Carers Allowance.

There are also a range of other financial options available you may be able to apply for including:

  • caring for children with high support or complex special needs
  • if you live in a regional or remote area
  • unexpected expenses for example that will come out of the child needing extra support over and above government and other payments (on a case by case basis).

Plus, you can also apply to have pre planned expenses reimbursed through a scheme called 'Child Related Costs'. This would be in discussion with us and your Child Safety Officer.

These costs are considered on a case by case basis and include things like:

  • educational costs for general schooling and vocational training.
  • healthcare costs including general medical, physical and mental health specialists,
  • travel costs for visiting family, court attendances and some overseas travel costs (based on Guardian consent for the child to travel).
  • recreation costs including leisure and recreational activities including pocket money,
  • purchase of gifts, hobbies, entertainment, holiday expenses.

If you need to talk to someone, we are always here to help you and you can call us any time day or night through our 24 hour support phone line.

You can read more about the financial support available to carers in our Resources section here.

It’s important to know that we’re in this together. When you become a foster carer, you are partnered with a dedicated case practitioner to provide the support you need to make caring for a foster child a rewarding and fulfilling experience. You also become part of a wider community of Anglicare carers in Queensland.

We’re here to connect you to the extensive support that we offer that includes ongoing training programs, resources and access to wider community groups at each step in your journey with us.

We understand that sometimes you just need someone to talk to. Our 24/7 phone support is available for you to call us at any time of the day or night.

Yes definitely! Caring for children is an extremely rewarding and fulfilling experience. However we know it can, at times, be demanding. So it’s important to us that you take the time to recharge and take a break.

We’re here to support you and will work with you to book in regular or one off breaks so you get the time you need.

Yes absolutely! We’d love you to get involved and meet your fellow carers. The wealth of experience, support and advice from the community is so valuable.

There are lots of celebrations and events during the year where you will have the opportunity to meet fellow carers.

You’re more than welcome to join our events, we have a number of community groups and even training opportunities that are tailored to foster and kinship carers.

Meet the people already involved

 

 

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