Your care can be life-changing

You can transform the life of a child who desperately needs someone on their team. Become a carer in our specialised foster care program and help a child or young person in need to finally return home.

Register for a FREE info session

Residential care is the last place a child should live

Kids do best in family, or family-like, environments. But sometimes it’s not safe for a child to stay with their birth parents. And some kids have complex needs that make it difficult to stay with general foster carers.

These are the children who end up in residential care.

Children in residential care are likely to have trauma from past neglect or abuse. That trauma compounds when they’re placed in a group with other traumatised children who have complex behaviours.

As a group, these children and young people are supervised by youth workers on a rotating roster. It’s lonely and they are at risk.

Treatment Foster Care Oregon program

Given the right support, every child can thrive

Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO) is a specialised foster care program designed to help children and young people who are either in, or at risk of entering, the residential care system.

The goal? To support a child for approximately 9 months to either reunite them with their family or be placed in a safe, nurturing long-term care environment, you will be given a carer allowance of up to $75,000 per annum, pro rata.

TFCO has proven to be highly effective, due to its holistic approach:

Support the Child

  • The TFCO program focuses on consistent positive reinforcement and praise.

  • They have a daily structure with clear expectations and fair consequences.

  • They receive intensive support by a team of 7 professionals.

  • They’re encouraged to attend school and develop positive relationships with peers and adults.

Support the Carer

  • As a TFCO carer, you’re given comprehensive initial training as well as ongoing training, coaching and development that is tailored to your family.

  • You get daily morning calls with the TFCO team to monitor the child’s progress and your wellbeing.

  • There are weekly TFCO carer meetings with fellow carers and the program supervisor.

  • 24/7 on-call support is always accessible.

  • You can access monthly respite care.

Support the Family

  • Families or long-term carers in the TFCO program are provided with therapy and parent training.

  • Families learn to provide consistent discipline, supervise and provide encouragement and use a modified version of the behaviour management system.

  • This equips them with the tools to build positive relationships, properly support and care for the child when they return home.

  • Families get additional support after their child returns home to help them settle in and develop a healthy family dynamic.

Could you be part of a team that transforms a young life? Get in touch and we’ll email you more information about the program.

9 months can be all it takes to turn a life around

Meet the Young People

I want to have a strong connection to my culture and beliefs. I have a busy timetable with loads interests, so the ideal carer would be someone I could share that with.

Learn More About Ashley

I love to swim and box to keep myself focused and engaged. Outside of school, I hang out with my friends a lot. I love when I can connect with my carers about things we both like.

Learn More About Jenny

I spend the weekend with my friends, playing soccer. I would thrive with a carer who wants to play with me, engage in the things I like and show me I am trusted.

Learn More About Liam

The TFCO Program has been proven to…

  • Prevent or reduce the number of days in residential settings

  • Improve general mental and physical health and wellbeing

  • Increase positive academic engagement

  • Improve brain stress regulatory systems

  • Increase positive attachment

Learn more

Everything you need to do incredibly rewarding work

Being a TFCO carer is a rewarding but time consuming role. Which is why you’ll be provided with a generous tax-free allowance while you
are caring for a child or young person in the program.

Ideally you are not working part-time or full-time. It is usually OK if you are working casually or studying if it is highly flexible.

As a TFCO carer you’ll also be assisted by a highly specialised treatment team. You’ll be an important part of the support team including a family therapist, an individual therapist, a teacher, program supervisor and a skills coach.

Daily calls and weekly team meetings mean you’ll always have an up-to-the-minute, individualised treatment plan for the child or young person in your care.


Tax-free allowance, per annum (pro rata)

24/7 support

from a team of highly qualified specialists

Single, Renting, Identify as LGBTQIA+

Are you eligible to become a TFCO carer?

If you have love to give, you can give a child a better future. TFCO carers come from a diverse range of cultures, religions, sexual orientations, families and marital status.

What’s most important is your capacity to help a child thrive.

You can become a TFCO carer if you:

  • Are over 21

  • Can provide a clean and safe living space

  • Have a spare bedroom

  • Are an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident

  • Have a car for school picks up and drop offs

  • Have the time to commit to caring for a child or young person

  • Are open to being trained to care for a child with complex behaviours. Previous experience in a similar role is a bonus!

  • Live in a TFCO service area:

Sound like it could work for you? Get in touch via our enquiry form and we’ll send you some info to read.

OzChild TFCO Process

What are the steps in becoming a TFCO carer

The accreditation process is an important part of safeguarding the wellbeing and happiness of vulnerable children. For that reason, the process is thorough.

But you won’t have to navigate it all on your own. We will guide you through every step of the journey.

Learn more

We would love to have you at one of our virtual Q&A sessions. During this virtual session you will hear stories from an OzChild foster carer. The carer will share the rewarding experiences and some of the challenges you might come across. You can of course ask any questions you might have about the kids, the program or the process. These Q&A sessions are held online with up to 5 other households and you can join from the comfort of your own home

We will visit you at your home and tell you more about the program, the kids and the process to become an accredited carer. You will be able to ask any questions you might have.

All specialised foster carers complete 16 hours of compulsory online foster care training at no cost to you. Plus, two additional days of specialised training that is completed face-to-face in an informal group environment. The training will prepare you for the day-to-day responsibilities and challenges and provide you with parenting techniques. The training is mandatory for everyone in the house with a caring role.

The assessments are designed to work out with you if fostering is a suitable option for you at this time. Part of the assessments are paperwork, which includes an application form, Blue card/Working with children application (depending on where you live), a police check and a health and well-being questionnaire. During this stage you will also be invited to attend the 2 full days of specialised TFCO training.

Once you have completed all the paperwork and assessment, your application will be presented to a carer panel responsible for the accreditation and approval of new carers based on meeting the required competencies. Once you are officially an OzChild carer, we will start looking for a possible match for you!

Could you be part of a team that transforms a young life?

Listen to experiences as a TFCO carer

What has it been like working with the TFCO team?

What’s it like when a child graduates from the TFCO program?

Specialised Foster Care

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. All TFCO carers receive a tax-free pro-rata carer allowance of $75,000 per year in VIC. This equates to receiving $6,250 per month. This carer allowance is to help with the costs associated with supporting a child or young person in your care, like food, clothes and activities. A carer allowance is different from paid employment, where you get superannuation, sick leave, etc.; however, the carer allowance is tax-free, meaning you would receive up to an additional $30,000 a year if you would compare it to a job where you pay tax. There may also be Centrelink benefits you are entitled to as a carer, which we will discuss with you as they depend on your circumstances. While being a TFCO carer is a full-time commitment, you can continue to work in a full or part-time capacity until you have a child placed in your care. Respite TFCO carers (eg. caring one weekend a month) receive the same pro-rata carer allowance as full-time TFCO carers but you would get paid for the days when they are caring for a child or young person.

If you wish to become a full-time carer, preferably, the primary carer should be home full-time. If you work casually or study part-time and have plenty of flexibility, we can explore how you could manage your existing time commitments while ensuring you can meet the needs of the child or young person in your care. If you are interested in becoming a respite carer, one or two weekends a month, you would have the time to work or study part-time or full-time as long as you’re free when the child or young person is staying with you.

Yes, absolutely. As long as you have strong, established support systems in place to assist you both emotionally and practically.

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 carer’s household have their own room to retreat to.

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 other TFCO carer households and the program supervisor to exchange experiences and offer peer support.
  • Daily morning calls from the TFCO team to record the child’s behaviours as well as your wellbeing and identify what additional support you might need that day.
  • On-call phone support 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 general foster care and TFCO program training provided.
  • Ongoing training, coaching and development tailored to your needs.

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.

The age range of children and young people in the TFCO program differ by state. In VIC it is 7-17 years. You can provide a gender preference and/or age preference within the age range.

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. In Victoria and Queensland we are looking for long-term after carers who are keen to care for kids who have graduated from the program but don’t have family to go to afterwards.

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.

Generally speaking it is okay to foster when you are already caring for your own child(ren), especially if the children are older. The TFCO program can offer your child(ren) a wonderful opportunity to learn valuable life skills and really broaden their views regarding vulnerable children. However, the program is not ideal for households where your child(ren) is/are aged between 0-5, as small children require lots of attention, energy and supervision which could be difficult to manage with the therapeutic care of a TFCO child or young person who could be displaying challenging behaviours.

Everyone’s circumstances are different, give our recruitment team a call on 1800 954 550 or email, we’d love to help!

Due to the high needs the kids in the specialised foster care program have, the program does not allow for you to care for other foster kids as this can sometimes be disruptive to the stability of your current placement. The exception of this program rule, is when you have become the permanent carer of the foster child that is already in your care.

Generally, the process from enquiry to welcoming your first child or young person into your care is 5-8 months. This includes attending a Q&A session, interviews, training, completing the necessary paperwork like a police check, working with children checks/blue card application and other safety measures like a Home and environment check and reference checks. The last step of the process involves your application being presented to a foster carer panel responsible for the accreditation and approval of new carers based on you meeting the required relevant standards for foster carers and meeting competencies required in the carer assessment. The duration of the process mainly depends on how quickly you can get the training and paperwork done and how available you are for home visits etc.  As much as this process is about safeguarding children, it is also about making sure now is the right time to start fostering. We take time to get to know you and work with you to find out what behaviours you are and are not comfortable with to ensure a child or young person will be a good fit for your household. 

Have more questions?

Give us a call on 1800 954 550 or email
We’d love to help!

Still unsure if becoming a TFCO carer is right for you?

Becoming a specialised foster carer is a big decision. If you’re not ready to attend an info session but would like more info, you can find out more about the program in our free guide.

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Acknowledgement of Country

OzChild acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live and work. We acknowledge their cultures are living ones, which relate to their ongoing connection to all things living and non-living on land, sea and sky.

We pay our respect to Elders past and present.

May the children of today lead us to a brighter tomorrow.

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