If you are interested in becoming a foster carer, you already know the children come first.
So it's good to know that before you become a carer, you will have time and help to prepare.
Over four to six months, you will work with a foster care agency in your local area. You will attend information sessions, complete 16 hours of training as well as mandatory assessments which will help you prepare your home and family. You will also complete relevant checks required by Victorian law in order to work with children. Once you are accredited, you will know you are prepared to offer a safe and welcoming environment for a child or young person.
Depending on where you live, there may be a number of foster care agencies in your area. To find the right agency for you, call our enquiry line on 1800 013 088 - you can ask questions, get detailed information and talk through your options. If you already know which agency you want to work with, you can complete our online enquiry form and be put straight through to your preferred agency.
Call the Fostering Connections Hotline on 1800 013 088 or complete the online enquiry form.
The first step once you have been connected with an agency is to gather information.
Many agencies run Information Nights, where prospective carers can come together to meet current carers, agency staff and even young people who have transitioned out of care. Other agencies will set up a personal information exchange in your home, where an agency worker will go through all your queries over a cup of tea.
Either way, this step is when you can ask all your questions and learn everything about becoming a carer.
For details of upcoming information sessions in your area, give us a call on 1800 013 088.
The next step is training. During the Shared Stories, Shared Lives training course you will learn about the foster care system and build your skills so you are confident working with children who have experienced trauma or loss.
This training is free to prospective carers and is provided in suburbs across Melbourne and regional centres throughout Victoria. This course makes up your 16 hours of compulsory training to complete your foster carer accreditation.
If you are preparing to work with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children, you will be given the opportunity to undertake additional training. During this training, you will learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and how you can keep children connected to their families, communities and cultural heritage.
Once you have completed all the necessary training, your agency will assist you to complete the accreditation process.
Foster care applicants are required to:
The foster care worker/s assisting you with your accreditation will complete a report to be submitted to an accreditation panel. If you choose, you can read and comment on the report prior to it being submitted.
If you are successful, you will then be accredited to provide particular types of care and be able to accept foster care placements.