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Foster care requirements



We welcome foster carers from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, religions and genders.

Ultimately, foster carers are there to support and nurture the children, provide them with stability and help them meet their full potential.

Essential criteria

  • Kindness – can you open your heart and your home to a child in need?
  • Compassion – can you make a difference in the life of a vulnerable child?
  • Healer – can you help heal a child who has experienced trauma?
  • Resilience – can you stay the distance with a child through the really good and also the really challenging times?
  • Patience – can you stay cool as a cucumber when things heat up?

Age of applicant

All applicants are required to be 18 years or older but there are no set age limits. It is preferable however that carers providing long-term care will be able to continue until the child is able to live independently.

Marital status

We accept applications from all persons whether they are married, single or de facto couples. Any applicants need to demonstrate a stable domestic environment including relationships.

Fertility (where infertility is/has been an issue)

To be eligible to provide long-term care, an applicant will have finished their involvement with a fertility program for a period of 12 months or more. Applicants need to demonstrate an acceptance of their infertility and an understanding of the impact of this upon each of them as an individual and as a family.


An applicant must be in good health, both physically and mentally, to ensure he/she is able to undertake the task of being a carer. This may involve raising a young child for many years into adulthood.

Financial resources

Applicants must be able to demonstrate they are financially sustainable. Some of our carers are employed full or part-time, as they are able to manage the child’s care around their working commitments. Obviously, if the carer is looking after a baby, the expectation is they are full-time carers.

Family time

Applicants need to demonstrate an understanding of the importance of the origins, culture and past of a child or young person in their care. Potential carers are required to demonstrate an acceptance of, and a commitment to, ongoing family time between the child and his/her parents and a willingness to facilitate these visits.

Behaviour support

Children in care have experienced various levels of past trauma and often require extra support to manage their emotions and behaviour.

Carers are required to work closely with CatholicCare staff to develop appropriate strategies to manage the behaviour of the child or young person in their care.

Health and hygiene

Carers are required to conform to guidelines designed to ensure that children are being cared for in a healthy environment. Such guidelines include the practice of universal infection control and ensuring there is no smoking within the home. Training is provided to carers about health and hygiene standards.

Care of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander children and young people

The Department of Communities and Justice, and CatholicCare, have a commitment where possible to placing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people with carers who share their cultural background.

CatholicCare is also committed to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principles. These principles aim to keep children connected to their families, communities, cultures and country, and to ensure the participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in decisions about their children’s care and protection. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principles centres on five elements: prevention, partnership, participation, placement and connection.

Religious beliefs

It is expected that applicants will respect and encourage the cultural and religious beliefs and practices of any child or children placed in their care. We welcome carers from all religious traditions and backgrounds, or with no religion.

Involvement with CatholicCare & NSW Department of Communities and Justice

Applicants must be willing to participate in the training and the assessment process and must demonstrate a capacity to work with both agencies in order to meet the changing needs of a child or young person.


Applicants should have adequate and safe accommodation for a child. This does not mean that applicants need to own their own home. A bedroom must be available for a child in care, but this can be shared with other children if appropriate.

Caring skills

Potential carers must demonstrate the ability to undertake the special responsibilities involved. Carers must be able to:

  • draw on and apply personal experiences appropriately in dealing with the tasks of fostering
  • provide good quality day-to-day care for children
  • provide a safe environment that is free from abuse
  • work as a team with staff from CatholicCare, Department of Communities and Justice, other professionals and parents.

To learn more about foster care and open adoption, please contact us now on 4944 0711, or using the form below.