All carers are provided with sufficient support to provide safe and appropriate placements for children and young people in care.
Foster care agencies and service providers work to support, inform and advocate for carers regarding their rights and entitlements.
They also have a management system and procedure for providing a 24-hour emergency support to the carers. This service is provided in collaboration with the Department for Child Protection (DCP).
Once registered with an agency or service provider, they will assign a placement support worker to support you in your role.
As an approved foster carer, you must be affiliated with a carer support agency.
Carers usually remain with one support agency for their caring journey, however in certain circumstances carers may want to transfer to a different support agency. The Carer transfer fact sheet and checklist (PDF 1.4MB) provides guidance for carers to navigate a transfer to a new support agency, and an easy to use checklist outlining the steps.
Placement support workers will visit the carer’s home at least once every 8 weeks for support and supervision.
Visits may occur more often if required.
Usually during these visits the following topics are discussed:
- child or young person's health, emotional and behavioural development
- family contact arrangements
- the child's educational progress
- cultural considerations and special needs
- care environment, personal circumstances and interpersonal issues
- adequacy of carer support
- critical incidents
- relationships with birth family and the impact of contact
- partnership with the department and other agencies.
All home visits are documented and a copy of the documentation is provided to the carer.
Telephone contact between the placement support worker and the carer happens at least every 4 weeks and calls from the carer are returned as soon as possible.
Many local DCP offices have carer's groups that give foster carers the opportunity to meet other carers and staff.
Workers from the department, fostering agencies and carers plan a calendar of events that includes a range of activities such as:
- Kinship and Foster Care Week events
- speakers and morning teas
- Christmas parties.
Carer's group meetings can be conference style with presentations and discussions for learning, while others are more social.
Non-government agency reference and support groups
Some foster care agencies have:
- reference groups to gain feedback from foster carers and give them the opportunity to discuss matters relating to their role as a foster carer
- support groups that offer training opportunities, speakers, morning teas - and the chance to meet other foster carers.
To find out more contact your support worker or agency.
In addition to placement support workers and foster care agencies, there are other support groups that can provide further help.
Connecting Foster Carers - SA inc
Connecting Foster Carers (CFC) is the peak body for foster carers in South Australia and is made up of and run by carers. They provide a peer support and independent information service to carers across the state.
Phone: 1800 737 272
Email: support [at] cfc-sa.org.au
Australian Foster and Kinship Carer Partnership
The Australian Foster & Kinship Carer Partnership is the national association for kinship and foster carers.
Email: info [at] afkcp.org.au