Become a foster carer
Foster care is sometimes challenging, but our carers say the rewards far outweigh the tough times.
A stable and caring home is the crucial first step for many young people as they recover from the effects of trauma, abuse and neglect. Evidence suggests that when young people are in a stable and caring home, they begin their journey to heal.
At Uniting, our Foster Care Program provides carers with the training and advice they need to support vulnerable children and young people in our community.
With over 100 years of experience bringing carers and children together, we'll support you in your journey to becoming a foster carer.
We welcome all types of carers. If you think you can support a child or young person, we would love to hear from you.
Training and support
We provide specialised training and ongoing assistance so you can provide the best possible care to a child or young person.
This support includes:
Training on effective parenting skills and child behavior
Ongoing support, supervision and practical assistance from a designated case worker
Access to a dedicated care team
After hours on-call service
Access to respite care for your foster child when you need some extra support
How do I become a foster carer?
To ensure the safety of children in care, part of the assessment will include Health Checks, National Police Check, Working with Children Check and a Home and Environment Check.
Attend Shared Lives Victoria training
Receive information about fostering children and child safety as well as a range of comprehensive resources to support you throughout your foster care journey.
Home visits and assessment
This involves interviews with you and everyone who lives in your home. A detailed assessment report is submitted to an approval panel for review. Once accredited, we will match you with a child or young person and provide you with ongoing support.
Our friendly foster care team are ready to answer your questions. Whether you need more information or feel ready to start your journey to becoming a foster carer, we're here to help.
Foster carers come from diverse backgrounds and family types. As a foster carer you can:
- Be single or have a partner
- Don't have to have children of your own
- Work, study, be home based or retired
- Be from any culture, religion or sexual orientation
Before a child or young person is placed in your care, you will receive training and be required to undergo an assessment to become an accredited foster carer. If you choose to become a foster carer, we'll be there with you each step of the way.
The four most common types are:
- Emergency placement (up to a week)
- Respite care (regular shot stays e.g. 1 weekend per month)
- Short term placement (up to 6 months)
- Long term placement (6+ months)
We can help match you to the type of foster care suitable to your current lifestyle and responsibilities.
Children and young people from birth to 17 years of age need foster care. They may enter care individually or as a sibling group.
In many circumstances, children and young people in foster care have lived through varying degrees of trauma, loss or separation. Some of these early life experiences may mean that children have a variety of needs.
Quality foster care can vastly improve a child's future and greatly reduce their chances of homelessness, unemployment, mental and physical health concerns, and involvement with the criminal justice system.
Your choice to become a foster carer could be life-changing for a child or young person.
We provide comprehensive training and ongoing support so you are able to do everything you can for every child or young person in your care.
Carers are matched with Uniting caseworkers who provide comprehensive training and support.
We work closely with you to meet the needs of you and your family, as well as the needs of every child or young person in your care.
Other related services
Sibling support service
By nurturing and maintaining sibling contact, children are more likely to lead healthy, safe and happy lives.
Helping children to thrive
When a friend suggested becoming a foster carer, Jill jumped at the idea. “I was single, I had a spare bedroom and I was working part-time. I felt like I was in a good position to become a foster carer,” says Jill.
A personal connection leads Ben to foster caring
Being a foster carer has a deep personal connection for Ben. “One of the reasons I decided to go down this path is because my mum was in care when she was younger,” say Ben.
Respite carers provide vital break
Respite carers give full-time foster carers or birth families at risk of breakdown a vital break from their responsibilities.
A loving home for children in need
Stephanie and David decided to become foster carers while expecting their second child.