Go to top of page

Common questions about foster care

How long does it take before our family can become foster carers?

The time it takes to become a registered foster carer varies.

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

Do children or young people usually stay in their local area when in foster care?

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.

Will the child go to our local school or will they stay at their own school?

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.

Can children and young people in foster care accompany our family on holidays?

Yes.

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.

Can I nominate the age of the child I would prefer?

Yes.

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

Will the subsidy I receive affect my taxable income or Centrelink entitlements?

No.

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

Can I choose the type of foster care I do?

Yes.

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.

Will fostering affect my family?

Yes.

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.

Can I say no to a placement?

Yes.

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

Will I have to have contact with a foster child's birth family?

No.

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

Foster carers details are not provided to birth families.

Where can I get more information, advice and answers?

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.

Contact

Foster Care Services

Telephone: 1300 2 FOSTER (1300 2 367 837)