Find detailed information, fact sheets and resources to help you in your carer journey
'Caring for kids': A guide for foster, relative and kinship carers
'Caring for kids' contains information about a range of day-to-day issues you may encounter as a foster carer, as well as providing references to other useful sources of information and assistance.
Financial support for foster carers
Foster Carer Allowance
Foster carers are provided with a carer allowance that is a contribution towards ensuring that children are well provided for and have opportunities to participate in activities that they enjoy.
Accredited agencies must pass on the full amount of the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ, formerly FACS) published rates at a minimum. Some agencies choose to pay more than the minimum for certain carer types (for example emergency and short-term carers).
If a child is assessed by DCJ or the foster care agency as having extra needs, then the amount of the carer allowance increases accordingly.
As with all parents, foster carers are eligible for financial assistance from Centrelink depending on their work and financial circumstances. The Australian Tax Office, Centrelink and financial institutions do not consider this allowance as income.
For more details about financial support:
Download the 2018/19 carer allowance rates
Teenage Education Payment Guidelines
Financial support for children
Under the Permanency Support Program, all children and young people receive a Case Plan Goal Package, a Baseline Package and a Child Needs Package.
These funding packages are managed by your agency. They are designed to be used flexibly to address the needs of children, young people and their families in order to achieve their case plan goal. This includes addressing any medical or dental needs.
One-off financial support for complex needs
A specialist package for complex needs has been created to address extraordinary circumstances. It is a one-off or time limited payment.
There are three complex needs payment categories:
1. Therapeutic behaviour support
2. Disability care
3. Additional rostered staff
Your agency may make a submission to DCJ to consider making a discretionary payment for an additional services and/or support, the absence of which would compromise a child or young person’s health, safety or wellbeing or compliance with a court order.
If, for example, excessively expensive dental work is required, service providers could make a submission to cover costs that could not be funded through the packages.
More information on complex needs payments is available here
The application form can be downloaded here and FAQs are here.
Working With Children Check
A Working With Children Check (WWCC) is a requirement for foster carers and people wishing to adopt a child from out-of-home care. It involves a national criminal history check and a review of findings of workplace misconduct.
Applying for a WWCC is a simple online process through the NSW Office of the Children's Guardian
WWCC for young people in care
Young people in care who wish to continue to live with their authorised carers also need WWCC clearance if there are, or are likely to be, children younger than 18 years of age living in the home.
Young people who are refused a WWCC clearance may now approach the Children’s Guardian to apply for continuing residence approval, so that they can continue living with their authorised carers.
Download the Continuing Residence Approval - Fact Sheet.pdf for more information.
Preparing your home
Foster carers need to ensure that their home meets child safety standards suitable for the age of the children who are in their care.
Agency requirements may vary but the Kidsafe NSW Home Safety Checklist is a good starting point.
Medicare factsheet: A guide for FACS workers and NGOs
My Health Record: A guide for foster, relative and kinship carers
Code of Conduct
Code of Conduct for foster, relative and kinship carers
Carers who are dealing with allegations and reportable conduct issues should contact our Carer Support Team for help and advice
ChildStory is owned and managed by the Department of Communities and Justice, it holds the electronic version of the Caring for Kids guide for foster, relative and kinship carers, general support and information and resources.
Information for authorised carers on out-of-home care adoption
This factsheet is for authorised carers wishing to adopt a child or young person in their care who is under the parental responsibility of the Minister to 18 years.
Services for adopted children under 18 years and their families
Through open adoption adopted children and their families are encouraged to build connections, communicate with each other and gain information about each other.
Out-of-home care adoption allowance
This allowance aims to help people who are considering the adoption of a child in their care, but who might require financial support to meet the child’s needs.
Becoming a Guardian Factsheet
Read about the what guardianship is, and the process of becoming a guardian.
Download age-appropriate information for children explaining what guardianship will mean for them.
Guardianship brochure for children under 12
Guardianship brochure for children over 12
Financial assistance for guardians
Guardians are eligible for financial assistance to support the children and young people in their care.
The guardian will receive a guardianship allowance at the same rate as the DCJ statutory care allowance. The guardianship allowance is based on the individual needs of the child or young person as outlined in their care or case plan, and on the age of the child or young person.
The DCJ Carer allowance 2017-18 factsheet indicates the allowance rates per fortnight:
Carer Allowance Rates effective 1 July 2018
Additional guardianship support payments
When approved as part of the child or young person's care plan, guardians may have limited access to additional guardianship support payments in the following areas:
- child care
- medical and dental
- professional therapy
- cultural support plan and life story work
The support payments must be agreed upon before a guardianship order is granted. Once a guardianship order has been made it's not possible to request any additional financial support.
Download the factsheet for more information: Financial Support Factsheet
Types of permanency orders
Three permanency orders compared
Compare the three types of permanency orders: guardianship, adoption, and parental responsibility.
Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) resources
Calendar of Religious and Cultural Events
Multilingual Disability Hub
The Multilingual Disability Hub is a national multilingual hotline and website that provides relevant and easily accessible information about disability and NDIS in your language. Select your language from the list on the top right-hand side of the Multilingual Disability Hub home page.
Brochures in community languages
Download information on becoming a carer in your language
Arabic | Chinese | Swahili | Tagalog | Turkish | Vietnamese
Find out more about becoming a carer from a culturally and linguistically diverse background.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resources
The Aboriginal Child, Family and Community Care State Secretariat (AbSec) provides child protection and out-of-home care policy advice on issues affecting Aboriginal children, young people, families and carers. They also work to build capacity in the Aboriginal disability NGO sector to provide choices for people with disability in the types of services and supports they access.
Kids Matter Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Portal
This portal brings together a range of public resources about the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Keeping Kids Connected
Information about cultural planning for Aboriginal children and young people.
Therapeutic program supporting placement stability for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
Supporting children at school
Education planning for children in care
A carer's guide to supporting children and young people to participate and achieve the best outcomes at school.
Safe Spaces, Safe Faces Safe Places: Trauma Resources for schools
Resources introducing the concept of trauma and outlining the key areas of trauma-informed teaching practice.
Calmer Classrooms: A guide to working with traumatised children
This booklet encourages teachers and other school personnel to forge those attachments through two key mechanisms: understanding traumatised children and developing relationship-based skills to help them.
iParent is a resource to teach parents and carers about the digital environment and how to help children have safe and enjoyable online experiences.
Supporting placement stability for children and young people in foster care and kinship care through trauma informed therapeutic outreach.
OurSPACE is for children and young people under the age of 15 who live in NSW, and who have experienced two placement breakdowns in the preceding 6 months.
OurSPACE is a program that combines a number of elements of service to support children, young people, carers and the network of professionals who support them.
Referrals to the OurSPACE Program can be made by contacting 1300 381 581.
Download one of the OurSPACE brochures for more information.
OurSpace Indigenous brochure.pdf
LINKS Trauma Healing Service
The LINKS Trauma Healing Service (LINKS) delivers trauma-focused, evidence-based support to children in out-of-home care.
The service is made up of two teams, based at Penrith and Charlestown community service centres. To be eligible for referral, a child must be:
- 16 and under
- able to travel to Penrith or Charlestown Community Services Centres for a minimum of weekly appointments
And be experiencing one of the following:
- two or more placements in the past six months
- an increased need for respite care over the past 12 months
The LINKS teams partner with children and families to improve their psychological wellbeing, responses to trauma and ultimately children’s social and emotional health.
The LINKS program also provides online training and resources for carers. Caring for children who have experienced trauma can be challenging. These resources will increase your knowledge of trauma informed care, help you better respond to trauma-based behaviours and provide links to relevant support services.