Becoming a foster carer is one of the most rewarding things you can do. You’re providing some of Australia’s most vulnerable children with a safe, nurturing environment and an opportunity to get a better start in life.
It’s no secret that foster caring comes with challenges. But the sense of reward and contribution from becoming a foster carer is a feeling like no other.
Today, we’ll be answering a common question for Victorians interested in becoming foster carers: how long does it take to become a foster carer in Victoria?
In this post, we take you through the process involved in becoming a foster carer in Victoria, and outline how much time it takes from the moment you express interest, right up to your very first placement.
Steps to becoming a foster carer in Victoria
Becoming a foster carer in Victoria takes a little time, but it’s a simple, straightforward process. The steps to becoming a foster carer include:
- Contacting an agency. First, you’ll contact Anglicare Victoria or your local foster care agency and submit an enquiry form.
- Attending a free information session. Next, you’ll attend a free information session in which you’ll learn everything you need to know about becoming a foster carer in Victoria.
- Paperwork and background checks. To become a foster family in Victoria, every member of your household who’s over 18 requires a Police Check and a Working With Children Check. Carers are also required to complete a Health Check. You also need to provide us with referees, and applicants are also asked to provide a written life story. Background checks can vary in the time they take to complete, and this process may take between 2-6 weeks.
- Training. All foster carers in Victoria are required to complete 16 hours of training to help them understand and prepare for the experience of caring for vulnerable children.
- Home visits and assessments. Then, you’ll be visited several times by your assessment workers who will conduct interviews and home assessments. In these visits, your home will be assessed to ensure it meets all criteria for fostering children.
- Accreditation panel. An accreditation panel will review your application and training. The panel consists of members from your local foster care agency as well as at least one official from the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing.
- Accreditation and review. If you’re deemed suitable to become a foster carer, you’ll complete a code of conduct. Accreditations are reviewed annually.
- Placement. Finally, you’ll be ready for your first placement. Anglicare Victoria will contact you when a suitable child or young person needs foster care in your area.
Length of overall process
Becoming a foster carer in Victoria can take anywhere from 6-12 months. This reflects the diligent, careful process we take in assessing and selecting foster care families who are the right fit.
Importance of the foster home assessment process
The foster home assessment process is thorough and comprehensive and, though it can take a while, it’s in place for everyone’s benefit. Anglicare Victoria is an accredited non-government agency which assesses families on their suitability for foster caring as part of their foster care program.
This in-depth assessment is designed to ensure that foster carers are equipped to deliver a safe, nurturing environment for some of Australia’s most vulnerable children, and that these children are going to benefit from their foster care experiences.
While becoming a foster carer in Victoria may take a little time, this is actually a good thing – it means all kids entering a foster care program are going into loving families and safe homes.
Contact your local agency today
Ready to give back to the community in the most important way possible? Contact the Anglicare Victoria Carer Recruitment Team to get your foster care application underway. With the help and guidance of Anglicare Victoria, you have the ability to change the lives of children who have had a tough start in life.