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Become a foster carer

Support

CatholicCare is a relationship-based organisation with an emphasis on family. We recruit, train and support foster and relative carers, enabling them to provide short-term and long-term homes for children. The aim is positive lifelong outcomes for the child.

Fostered children benefit from carers who nurture and respond to their individual needs.

Types of care

CatholicCare offers a range of care options including:

  • Immediate
  • Short term/ Restoration
  • Respite
  • Permanent

Immediate

Emergency placements are for children who need an urgent placement because there are concerns for their immediate safety. These placements can occur after-hours and on weekends. Emergency carers need to be able to provide care for very young children at short notice, and typically only for a short period of time.

Respite care

From time to time, parents and carers need a break from their caring role. Respite care is for short periods of time, eg. school holidays, weekends or for short periods during the week.

Short term/ Restoration

Short to medium-term foster care is, on average, provided for about six to nine months, but can be anything from an overnight stay to as long as 12 months. These placements have a strong focus on reunifying the child with their birth parents or extended family.

Permanent

These are placements for longer than six months. Long-term or permanent care placements usually refer to situations where the child is not expected to return to their family. It requires a high-level of commitment and may ultimately lead to adoption.

There are several steps involved in becoming a foster carer with CatholicCare. They are all designed to increase your knowledge and skills in caring for children.

Once you and your family have completed the CatholicCare training program, your suitability for becoming a foster carer will be assessed through the industry standard Step By Step assessment process.  Our foster carers come from a variety of backgrounds and are not required to be Catholic or married.

Ultimately foster carers are there to support and nurture the children, provide them with stability and help them meet their full potential. These traits know no gender, race or religious boundaries.

Training

CatholicCare’s emphasis on a family-based approach sets us apart. Ongoing training provided to carers is specifically targeted according to their needs and is CatholicCare’s significant point of difference.

We facilitate a range of specialised support groups for foster carers, relative carers and men's groups for our foster fathers with a range of topics including supporting children with complex trauma.

We also provide information sessions on Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, self care, child safety, contact anxiety, mental health, repairing trauma and stress, cyber safety and healthy food options.

Importantly, we deliver information sessions on adoption and guardianship. To support carers on a journey towards adoption or guardianship we also facilitate Building Positive Regard with Birth Parents and Life Story work training.

Requirements

We are looking for carers with resilience … carers with the capacity to help a child who has experienced trauma to heal. Carers need patience to navigate their child’s behaviour and an understanding of the impact past experiences and people have on the child’s outlook on life.

CatholicCare supports the household to support the child. Our focus is on the child, but we care about our carers, value their opinions, encourage their learning and respect their need for support.

Want to know more? Register below for the next foster care information night near you.

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CatholicCare foster carers share what it's like being a carer

Arlene and Wayne Field share their foster care experience, including the rewards and challenges, and different types of care.