From start to finish, the journey to become a foster carer takes around six to nine months. This page outlines the different steps involved.
To decide if foster care is something for you, it's a good idea to learn a little about the roles and responsibilities of a foster carer.
In South Australia, Foster Care Services provides information about becoming a foster carer.
Call 1300 2 FOSTER (1300 2 367 837) or complete the online request form to have information sent to your address.
You may also be invited to attend an information session. Information sessions are usually attended by small groups of people who are interested in becoming foster carers.
To express your interest in being a foster carer, make contact with a foster care agency.
The agency will send you an information pack with information to help you make an informed choice about becoming a foster carer.
At every step of the process, you can decide not to proceed. If you have any concerns, you can discuss them with staff of the fostering agency.
After reading information provided by the foster care agency, if you indicate that you are interested in proceeding, the agency will meet with you to:
The next step involves submitting an application to your foster care agency who will need carry out checks on you and your family.
An assessment worker from the fostering agency will also confirm that your home is safe for children.
When the agency receives your application, they will arrange assessment appointments in your home. There will be around six sessions that run for two hours.
The fostering assessment helps you make an informed decision and helps the fostering agency to:
During these appointments, talking through the issues will help you understand what is involved in being a foster carer.
You will need to participate in foster carer training to equip you with the skills needed to provide quality care and give you a better understanding of the foster carer role.
The foster care agency will arrange these training sessions for you.
Training includes learning about:
Sometimes assessment will occur after training and sometimes both training and assessment will be run together; it depends on the agency that you are working with.
Upon completion of paperwork, checks and training, the foster care agency will discuss the progress of your application.
If all the information demonstrates your household is suitable for fostering, the fostering agency will submit an assessment report to the Department for Child Protection recommending your registration as a foster carer.
The Department for Child Protection will:
This is a rigorous and thorough process to ensure that children and young people receive the highest standards of care.
When a carer household is approved, the foster care agency lets them know and begins discussions about arranging a suitable placement of a child or children to the home.
Foster Care Services
Phone 1300 2 FOSTER (1300 2 367 837)