Treatment Foster Care FAQs

Get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about becoming a treatment foster carer

Yes. All TFCO carers receive a tax-free reimbursement of $75,000 per annum pro rata (VIC and NSW) and $65,000 per annum pro rata (QLD and SA) to help with the costs associated with supporting a child or young person in your care.

If you wish to be a full-time TFCO carer, it is recommended that at least one adult from the carer household stays home in a full-time capacity in order to be flexible to the needs of the child and care team surrounding them.

We also offer a respite TFCO carer option, which has the flexibility in working full-time simultaneously.

Yes. It is essential for children and young people in the TFCO program to have their own private and safe space, where they can settle in, feel it is their own and enable them to thrive, especially where there is a background of trauma. Sharing rooms is prohibited within the program and ensures all children in the carers household have their own room to retreat to.

Generally, the process takes around three to six months. This includes interviews, trainings, completion of necessary paperwork, police checks, working with children checks (VIC, SA and NSW), blue card (QLD) and other safety measures (e.g. home and environment check and reference checks). The last step of the process involves your application being presented to a foster carer panel who are responsible for the accreditation and approval of new carers based on them meeting the required relevant standards for foster carers and meeting key competencies required in the carer assessment.

As much as this process is about safe-guarding children, it is also about ensuring the wellbeing of carer households through appropriate matching. We take time to get to know you and your family to ensure a child or young person will be a good fit for your household.

The placement generally lasts somewhere between six to 12 months, as this is where the research shows the TFCO therapeutic response to be the most effective for children, as well as sustainable for the carer households.

• Weekly TFCO carer meetings with the support of peers (other TFCO carer households) and the program supervisor.
• Daily morning calls from the TFCO team to record the child’s behaviours and timely contact from the program supervisor if needed.
• On-call support for TFCO carers available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
• Respite care for all children and young people in the program by TFCO-trained respite carers once a month.
• Full initial TFCO training provided.
• Ongoing training, coaching and development tailored to each family’s needs.

The age range of children and young people in the TFCO program differ by state. In VIC and QLD it is 7 to 11 years, in NSW it is 7 to 17 years and SA it is 12-17 years. Our full-time TFCO carers must commit to supporting the child or young person for the whole duration of their time in the program as any setbacks or placement breakdowns would have a significant negative impact on the child and young person.

Yes. Single TFCO carers can still have strong, established support systems in place, which is what the application process will identify, explore and, if needed, build.

No. TFCO placements are not long-term or permanent care options. The aim of TFCO is to reunify children and young people with family or kin.

Where applicants are on an IVF program, pregnant or already exploring permanent care options or adoptions, it is suggested they see those plans through before exploring a TFCO application.

Yes. Whilst it may be one member of the household driving the application, it is a requirement that both partners complete training and assessment. Children in the home are also included in parts of the assessment. It is also encouraged that other household members especially those over the age of 18 attend training.

Generally, this is okay, especially if the children are older. TFCO offers the children and young people of carer households a wonderful opportunity to learn valuable life skills.

However, we do not support TFCO households with children under three years old in their care, as small children require extra attention and supervision which would be difficult to manage with the therapeutic care of a TFCO child or young person.

What support do you receive as a specialised foster carer?
What is it like when a child graduates from the program?
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