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How to become a foster carer

Every year, new homes are needed for thousands of vulnerable children and young people across Victoria.

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Foster carers help children and young people who are temporarily unable to live with their birth family due to neglect, family violence, mental health issues or drug and alcohol abuse.

Being a foster carer is an incredibly rewarding experience. You can help create a brighter future for vulnerable children between 0-18 who would otherwise have nowhere to go. By opening your home and your heart, you can offer these children and young people a place to feel safe and nurtured, whether that is for one night, a weekend, a couple of months or long term.

Not sure if fostering is for you? By attending one of our virtual info sessions, you will learn all about the process, what types of care you can choose from and you will also hear from one of our foster carers. The info session is designed to help you decide if fostering is something you would like to explore further.

How to become a foster carer

As a foster carer, you will play a critical role in supporting these children and young people by giving them a safe place to call home.

  1. Take the first step and submit an enquiry about becoming a foster carer with OzChild.
  2. Virtual information session
    You will be invited to attend a virtual information session from the comfort of your own home. During the information session you will learn more about what’s involved in becoming a foster carer and you will also hear from an OzChild carer. The information session will run for about one hour. We encourage all members of your household to attend this information session.
  3. Virtual meet and greet
    You will be invited to have a virtual meet and greet with one of the recruitment team where we will get to know each other in a one-on-one setting. If you have a partner, they will need to attend too.
  4. Paperwork and checks
    You will have to complete a Health Check, Police Check, a Working with Children Check and referee checks. All adults in your household will need to complete a Police Check and Working with Children Check.
  5. Training
    All foster carers complete 16 hours of compulsory training, provided by OzChild at no cost to you. Your training will prepare you for the day-to-day responsibilities and challenges, all aspects of a placement, welcoming a child into your home, through to common daily experiences, and what it’s like to say goodbye. The training is mandatory for everyone in the house who will play a caring role.
  6. Home visits and assessments
    A qualified assessor will work through five formal assessment interviews. Some of the assessments will be done virtually and some will be done face to face. The assessments will include a home visit where we want to talk to all members of the household and we will perform a home and environment check to make sure you can provide a safe place to stay for a child or young person.
  7. Accreditation panel
    Your assessor will present a report of your training and assessment to an accreditation panel for final approval. The panel is made up of OzChild staff, at least one representative from the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) and a foster carer. You will receive a copy of the report beforehand.
  8. Placement
    We will contact you to ask if you’re able take your first placement to have a child, young person or sibling group stay with you.

Who can become a foster carer?

Foster carers come from all types of family units (including singles), backgrounds and cultures. Race, gender, marital status, religion or sexual orientation have absolutely no bearing on eligibility.

At OzChild, we value all prospective foster carers with the qualities and beliefs that we know will give every child and young person the chance to shine. 

As long as you are over the age of 21 and able to provide secure accommodation and appropriate space in your home, you can become a foster carer.

Upcoming information sessions

Our information sessions are currently being held online. During the one hour virtual session the Foster Care Recruitment Manager will talk you through a presentation and what is involved in becoming a foster carer with OzChild.

To attend one of the below online information sessions please complete the enquiry form here.

8-9pm on Tuesday 15 June

12-1pm on Thursday 24 June

8-9pm on Tuesday 29 June

12-1pm on Thursday 8 July

8-9pm on Tuesday 13 July

Frequently Asked Questions

We know that deciding to become a foster carer is a big decision. That’s why we have created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for answers to some of the most common questions about foster care.


What is the best thing about being a foster carer?
Play
How do you juggle working full-time and fostering?
Play

What type of care can you provide?

With both short and long-term care opportunities available, there’s one that can fit into your life.

45,000
Children and young people are in need of care each year
550
The number of children, young people and family members OzChild supports on any given night
Every 45 minutes
A child enters the care system in Australia

How will OzChild support you?

Every OzChild carer household is supported by our Caring Team approach. Our dedicated Case Managers provide a holistic approach to the child or young person in your care and all members of your caring household while our national Thriving Families carer strategy aims to continually improve the carer household experience.

Thriving Families Change Lives

Thriving Families
Change Lives​​

Thriving Families Change Lives​​ is OzChild’s 2020-2023 Carer Strategy.

Respect, support, communication and above all, relationship are the foundations of our Thriving Families carer strategy. With this three-year strategy, we will demonstrate and lead real change in how the community and sector view the role of carers.

Download the full strategy

Become a
foster carer

Every year, new homes are needed for thousands of vulnerable children and young people across Victoria. Could you care?

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