The time it takes to become an approved foster carer varies.

Applicants are encouraged to progress at their own pace, however on average the process takes between 6 and 9 months.

Children and foster carers are matched according to the child's needs and the preferred family structure of the carer or carers.

To minimise disruption to the child, they usually stay in their local area wherever possible.

If a child is staying for a short period they will usually remain at their own school so they continue to have contact with familiar people and places.

If it's a long term placement then schooling options for the child would be discussed in partnership with the child's case worker.


Holidays are often an experience that children and young people have not had. You will need to talk with the child's case worker as it may affect regular contact with a parent.


You can give your preference about the age and gender of a child you think would fit best with your family and lifestyle.


You do not have to declare the subsidy you receive for the child or young person as income.


You can discuss your particular area of interest and what type of care you think may be suited to your family with your fostering agency.


It's important to include your family and all your household members in discussions about becoming a foster carer. All household members will need to meet with the fostering assessment worker and be involved in the process of becoming a foster carer.


Foster carers are volunteers. Your fostering agency will always discuss placements with you.


Each child in foster care has a case worker who is responsible for arranging birth family contact. Arranging birth family contact is not the responsibility of the foster carer.

Foster carers details are not provided to birth families.

Some people begin by attending an information session about foster care where they can meet a local foster carer and have their questions answered.

If you have particular questions about foster care it can be helpful to contact a local fostering agency.


Foster Care Services

Phone: 1300 2 FOSTER (1300 2 367 837)

Related links

Who can become a foster carer?

Foster care information sessions

Foster care agencies