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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.

Start your foster care journey

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.

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.

Emergency care

You would help provide a safe and stable home for a child in an emergency situation, especially when it concerns their immediate safety.

Part-time/Respite care

You would be helping parents and other carers on a temporary basis. It’s a tag-team effort for carers that need a break for short periods of time; namely school holidays or weekends.

Short-term care

You would help provide a safe and loving home to a child in need for 3-6 months. This type of care is focused on reuniting the child with their birth parents or extended family.

Long-term care

You would open your home to a child for 6 months or more. Just like short-term foster care, the focus is to eventually reunite the child back with their parents or extended family.

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.

Take the first step and submit an enquiry about becoming a foster carer with OzChild.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Am I eligible to 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, able to provide secure accommodation and appropriate space in your home, and live within our service area, 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.

  1. 8-9pm on Tuesday 21 September
  2. 12-1pm on Thursday 30 September
  3. 8-9pm on Tuesday 7 October
  4. 12-1pm on Thursday 14 October
  5. 8-9pm on Tuesday 19 October

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.

Become a
foster carer

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

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