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Resources and support

Resources and support

Discover articles, videos and FAQs to support you on your journey to becoming a foster carer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who can become a foster carer?

CatholicCare Social Services Hunter Manning welcome applications from people regardless of their gender, culture, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Young or old, with or without children, married, in a de facto relationship or single, foster carers come from all parts of our community.

There are no upper age limits when applying to become a foster carer; you need to be older than 18 years old, be fit and healthy and able to care for the child or young person in your care.

How long does the application process take

From the point of enquiry to accreditation as a foster carer, the process can take anywhere between 4 – 12 months.

The process includes the following:

  • Attending an Information Session
  • Undertaking mandatory probity checks, including a Working with Children Check, National Police Check and Community Services Check.
  • Gathering of personal references and medical references
  • A home safety inspection
  • Attending mandatory training
  • Participating in interviews with an Assessor

The process is comprehensive and usually takes between 4 and 12 months, followed by a careful matching process.

Ongoing training and 24/7 support are also provided by CatholicCare Social Services Hunter Manning.

Do I need to own my own home?

No, it doesn’t matter whether you rent or own your own home or whether you live in a house or an apartment. However, you do need to provide a safe, stable and loving home.

Your house must be safe and suitable for children, with adequate privacy and a spare bedroom for a child or young person.

Your home will need to pass certain safety standards, but you will be given the opportunity to make your home child-safe during the application process.

Can I work whilst being a foster carer?

This depends on the type of foster care you wish to undertake, and the needs of the child or young person being placed with you. We have carers who work full-time, part-time or not at all.

I’m single with no children of my own, can I foster?

Yes, absolutely. You do not need to have had your own children. Experience with children or young people is helpful however it is not essential. 

Will I receive financial assistance?

CatholicCare Social Services Hunter Manning provides a tax-free allowance to support the day-to-day needs of the child or young person in your care. The child or young person also has access to a case plan budget that further supports their additional needs.

Is my family ready to apply?

Deciding to become a foster carer should involve the whole family, no matter what their age. It is important that everyone in your home is willing to welcome a child into your family and take part in their care. 

  • Applicants need to be over the age of 25, and be well, healthy and able to deal with the challenges of foster caring.
  • Applicants should be able to provide a stable, safe and loving home environment.
  • Applicants must be willing to undertake mandatory checks such as a Working With Children Check, National Police Check and Community Services Check.
  • IVF and other fertility investigations or treatments need to be completed twelve months before applying to foster.
How does CatholicCare Social Services Hunter Manning support foster carers?

As a foster carer with CatholicCare Social Services Hunter Manning you will receive the following:

  • Financial support in the form of a tax-free allowance
  • Comprehensive training and ongoing learning opportunities
  • Personalised support from a dedicated care team that includes a Care Team Manager, Permanency Planner, Care Team Support, Therapeutic Specialist, Parenting Partner and Carer Support
  • Respite support to give you a break from your caring responsibilities
  • Access to 24/7 support for emergency assistance and support outside of general business hours
  • Opportunities to network with other carers and access peer support.
Do foster carers have a say in which children or young people they care for?

Yes. Once you are approved as a foster carer, CatholicCare Social Services Hunter Manning will let you know the details of who you are able to care for.

CatholicCare Social Services Hunter Manning will approach you when there are children or young people that need a home, provide you with the information we have, and you can say yes or no.

Matching a child or young person with a foster carer is dependent upon good assessments, clear support plans, careful decision making and a high level of collaboration and information sharing between the CatholicCare Social Services Hunter Manning Care Team, of which our foster carers form a valued and respected part of. 

If I foster, do I need to have contact with birth families?

Yes, contact between children and young people and their birth family is important for children’s emotional and psychological wellbeing and their sense of identity. However, all our carers receive support in relation to birth family contact with a strong focus on achieving better outcomes for children and young people.


Storytime with Sharon

A great way to learn about foster care is through storytelling, not only from first-hand experiences of foster carers but from books designed to explain why some children and young people need foster homes, what foster carers do, and ways children and young people feel during foster care. Children often believe that they are in foster care because they are bad. This is not the case; the troubles in their lives are no fault of their own and we need to give children and young people in out-of-home care messages of hope and support.