Make a difference in a child’s life.
When children or young people are unable to live with their birth families, they may need a safe and nurturing home for a period of time.
Foster carers take on the responsibilities of parents and provide an environment where children and young people can thrive, while their families take the steps necessary so that they can be returned to their care. This is referred to as out-of-home care (OOHC).
There are many different types of foster care including relative/kinship care, emergency care, short and medium term care and part-time care. Learn more about the types of care.
Where a child cannot return to live with their family, permanency is the goal to provide stability and allow the child or young person to form meaningful attachments with the adults in their lives. These can include long-term care, guardianship or adoption.
Who can become a foster carer?
Foster carers come in all shapes and sizes. The most important quality in a carer is the ability to open your home and your heart to a child in need and provide them with a safe, nurturing environment in which to grow and thrive.
We need people who have available time, space in their homes and the capacity to parent children who have had difficult starts to life.
Foster carers can be single or married, already be parents or have no children. Carers from all walks of life, diverse and multicultural backgrounds and the LGBTQI+ community are warmly welcomed!
If you are not sure whether you can become a carer, get in touch with us via our online form or call us and a member of our team can answer any questions you may have.
I’d like to become a carer, what do I do?
The first step is to contact us! We can support you through the process and assist with any questions you may have.
We start with a series of questions to help identify what type of care is best for you and your family. Then we match you with an agency, to best suit you and your personal circumstances.
Careful screening takes place to ensure that foster carers are safe people and have the capacity to stay the course for a child in their care. Potential carers must provide references, medical and police checks, and be interviewed several times during the assessment process.
Your home will also need to pass certain safety standards, but you will be given the opportunity to make your home child-safe during the application process.
Once this is complete, you undertake Shared Lives Training which will give you an understanding of what to expect when you become a carer.
At every step of your journey we’re with you, to provide you with advice and support.
What support will I receive as a carer?
All carers receive ongoing support and case management from their agency. The NSW out-of-home care system has been set up to ensure that carers feel supported, equipped and encouraged in their critical role of caring for children.
This will include:
- regular meetings and home visits with your case manager
- 24-hour phone support for emergency situations
- professional support in dealing with any behavioural, physical and emotional difficulties the child may be experiencing
- assistance with birth family contact
All carers have access to specialised support, advocacy and training from My Forever Family NSW.
What financial assistance will I receive?
Foster carers do not receive formal wages. A foster carer allowance is provided to help ensure the child in your care has everything that they need. This allowance is based on the age of the child you are caring for.
As with all parents, you may be eligible for financial assistance through Centrelink, depending on your work and financial circumstances.
Find more about financial assistance in our Resources Library.