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Foster care requirements

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.

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.

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.

Age of Applicant

There are no set age limits. It is expected however, that carers providing long-term care for a child will be able to continue to care 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. Married/de facto couples need to demonstrate a stable domestic relationship.


(where infertility is/has been an issue)

To be eligible to provide long-term care, an applicant must have finished their involvement with a fertility program for a period of not less than 12 months. Applicants must demonstrate an acceptance of their infertility and an understanding of the impact of infertility upon each of them as an individual and as a family.


An applicant needs to be in good health, both physical and mental, to ensure he/she is able to undertake the task of being a carer. For applicants for long-term care, this may involve raising the child to adulthood.

Financial Resources

In general, applicants may be employed full or part-time if they are able to provide adequate time to the child or young person in their care. For example, it may be possible to work in the paid workforce and still care for a school-aged child, but this may not be possible if the child has particular needs or is very young.

Family Contact

Applicants must demonstrate an understanding of the importance of the origins, culture and past of a child or young person in their care. Applicants must demonstrate an acceptance of, and a commitment to, ongoing contact between the child and his/her parents and a willingness to facilitate such contact.

Discipline of Children and Young People

Carers are expected to work closely with CatholicCare staff in developing appropriate discipline strategies for the particular child or young person in their care.

It is very important that children in care are disciplined in a way that sends a strong message to them that they are cared for in spite of their behaviour. Children in care often require extra support to manage their emotions and behaviour.

Health & Hygiene Standards

Carers are expected 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 that 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

Family & Community Services and CatholicCare have a commitment to placing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people with Carers who share their cultural background (if at all possible).

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. Carers do not have to be Catholic. We welcome Carers from all religious traditions and backgrounds or with no religion.

Involvement with CatholicCare & NSW Family & Community Services

Applicants must be willing to participate in training and the assessment process. Applicants 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 should necessarily own their own home. A bedroom must be available for a child in care though this can be shared with other children if appropriate.

Caring Skills

Applicants must demonstrate an ability to undertake the special responsibilities involved in caring for a child in care. 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, Family & Community Services, other professionals and parents.

To learn more about foster care and open adoption, please contact us using the form below

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