Frequently Asked Questions for those considering becoming a Foster Carer with Anglicare Victoria.
Who can foster?
Whether you are married, single, older, younger, with or without kids, or in a same-sex relationship – everyone can make a positive difference in a child’s life.
Key attributes of carers include empathy, compassion, resilience, optimism, dependability, flexibility and willingness to work as part of a team. A good foster carer is committed to the wellbeing of children and young people. They are flexible, patient and understanding, have a good sense of humour and can work well with other people.
No, foster carers can rent or own their own home.
Yes. Many of our foster carers work full-time or part-time. Some children will need a full-time, stay-at-home carer, such as babies and children with additional needs. We can help you decide the kind of care that is best suited to your circumstances and work commitments.
If your circumstances change, you can always change the kind of care you provide.
Read more on Types of Care.
No. Children and young people in care need stability and support – anyone can provide this. If you have concerns about your experience with children, remember that you will receive training and ongoing support to ensure you are well-equipped and prepared to welcome a child into your home.
We are passionate about ensuring the vulnerable children and young people in our care are placed in a stable and secure environment. All foster carers are required to undertake Police and Working with Children Checks as part of their accreditation process. While some offences, like sexual abuse will rule out approval, other offences may not.
It is best to discuss any criminal history with Anglicare upfront.
Yes! You do not have to be married or in a relationship to foster. Many of our foster children are placed in single-parent households.
Yes! Your sexuality doesn’t affect your ability to foster. We welcome foster carers from many backgrounds regardless of their gender, marital status, sexuality, race or religion.
How do I become a foster carer?
The process starts with your enquiry and an information session. From there we work with you to complete paperwork, training, home visits and assessments, accreditation, and finally placement.
Read more about the Foster Care Accreditation Process
On average, it takes about six months to become an accredited foster carer; however, everyone’s circumstances are different. The time is takes will depend on your availability for training and other milestones on the way to the accreditation.
Yes. Every adult living in the household will be involved in the application and assessment process.
What kind of support do foster carers receive?
Yes. All foster cares complete comprehensive pre-accreditation training, Shared Lives, which is provided by Anglicare at no cost to you.
This training will prepare you for the day-to-day responsibilities and challenges of being a foster care.
Following your accreditation as a carer, additional training will be offered to support you in your role.
Anglicare is there to support foster carers every step of the way. While foster carers provide the day-to-day care of children, they form part of a care team that makes joint decisions regarding the care of the child.
Each foster carer has an allocated Anglicare Victoria staff member assigned to their placement, who is there to support with advice and emotional support, coordination of services and additional training, and referral to specialist services as required.
Anglicare also offer 24/7 support via our dedicated After Hours team.
Yes. You will receive an allowance to cover the ordinary, day-to-day expenses that come with caring for any child or young person. This includes food, incidental clothing, household items, gifts, pocket money and entertainment.
The carer allowance is not income, so it is tax free.
The carer allowance is not means tested, and is determined based on the needs and the age of the child or young person in care.
Additional information about care allowances and other financial supports can be found here https://services.dffh.vic.gov.au/support-home-based-carers-victoria
Children in Foster Care
Vulnerable children and young people aged 0 – 18. Our foster care programs provide a safe and supportive environment for children and adolescents who are unable to live with their own families for various reasons.
Children and young people in foster care range from 0 – 18 years of age. Carers can specify the age and gender of the children they wish to care for.
Children and young people may require foster care from a few nights to a few years. During your assessment we will discuss the types of foster care available to help you decide what best suits your lifestyle.
The aim of foster care is always to provide temporary care, until they can return to their parents’ care. When this is not possible, the aim shifts to find a stable, long-term environment where the child can live (extended family, or permanent care, for example).
Read more on Types of Foster Care.
Yes. Contact plans are determined by the child’s Case Plan and the Children’s Court.
Most children in foster care enjoy seeing their families and family contact is an important way to keep them in touch with their culture and community. The young person’s safety is always the priority and each situation is assessed individually.
All types of care, from respite to longer-term, are needed.
Foster carers are also needed to care for sibling groups to keep children from the same families together.
Caring for a child
No. Foster carers may go ‘on hold’ or discontinue their care at any time. However, potential applicants are strongly encouraged to consider the importance of stability for children in foster care and understand the commitment involved in accepting a placement.
Foster carers can always say no to taking on a placement if it doesn’t suit their availability, preferences, or household needs at any particular time.
We encourage carers to be open and honest with Anglicare about their availability and preferences for placements, knowing that this can change at any time.
Yes, carers are accredited for specific ages, and sometimes genders, of children to be placed with them. Throughout your assessment, this will be discussed and a recommendation that meets your personal circumstances and abilities will be presented to the Accreditation Panel for endorsement.
Many carers chose to care for children the same age or younger than their own children, while others have a preference for caring for adolescents, or school aged children.
We will always seek to match you with a child who is a good fit for you and your family.