Opening hears opening homes

Who can be a carer?

“We started by doing respite care, a few days here and there. After that, we felt we wanted to do more.”

A lot of people think you have to be special to be a foster carer. In some ways that’s true, because deciding to open your home to a child in need is a very special thing to do. But foster carers don’t have to be superheroes. In fact, they are everyday people, from all walks of life, backgrounds, ages and experiences. In other words, people just like you.

Anyone over 21 who can offer a child or teenager in need a secure, caring environment can apply to become a foster carer.

Single people

Heterosexual and same-sex couples

Older and retired people

Younger people

Home owners or renters

Full or part-time, unpaid workers, students or unemployed

Would you like to care for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child or young person?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people are over represented in the child protection and out-of-home care services compared to non-Indigenous children. Across Victoria, we need more carers to provide a safe and welcoming home to children of all ages who come from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.

Training and Support

Caring for a child of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island background can be an incredibly rewarding experience and you will be provided support and training at all times. If you foster through an Aboriginal agency, you will be asked to complete the training program “Our Carers For Our Kids”. You may also be asked to complete “Nikara’s Journey” training, so you can ensure that recognition is given to an Aboriginal child’s right to be raised in his/her own culture.

Caring for children and young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

Victorians come from more than 200 countries, speak 260 languages and dialects and follow 135 religious faiths. Similarly, the foster care sector is made up of children and young people from different cultures and backgrounds. To help children and young people retain a connection with their culture and language, we are always looking for carers from a broad range of cultural and linguistic backgrounds. 

Can foster children go with you on a holiday?

Yes. For travel within Victoria, you simply need the consent of the child’s caseworker. For holidays outside of Victoria, consent from the child’s legal guardian is required, which is generally arranged by the child’s caseworker. In circumstances where consent is not forthcoming, your caseworker will arrange respite care for the child while you are away.

Do foster children require their own rooms?

In most cases they will. However, it may be appropriate for a foster child to share a room with their siblings. If you are concerned about having enough space in your home to provide appropriate care, you should discuss this with the foster care worker completing your assessment.