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Steps to Become a Foster Carer

Are you interested in becoming a foster carer? We’ll be with you every step of the way.

Foster caring has not been ‘a sacrifice’ as many suggested it would be. It’s been a gift that goes both ways.

– Amber Petty, MacKillop foster carer
MacKillop foster carer Amber Petty

Becoming a foster carer is both life-changing and rewarding. You can transform a young person’s life by opening your heart and your home to them. Whilst at times it can be challenging, our training and accreditation equip you for these challenges, and you will always have the support of a dedicated MacKillop staff member.

Our training, assessment and accreditation process takes between 3-6 months, and is based on a therapeutic care model. All adult members of your household must be trained and accredited, so you can provide the best support for a child or young person entering your care. This is critically important, given our commitment to child safety.

Step 1: Get in touch!

The very first step is to get in touch with us. You can do this by completing our short enquiry form or call us on 1300 791 677 to discuss what's involved.

Step 2: Chat over the phone

During our first conversation, we explain the foster care system. It’s your first opportunity to ask us anything about foster care, including the process to become a carer and what to expect when fostering children. If you decide to proceed following this conversation, we’ll arrange a time to come to your house to talk in person. We’ll also email you a Welcome to Foster Care information pack, which explains foster care in more detail.

Step 3: Home visit

Someone from our team will visit you in your home. This is another opportunity to ask us about foster care, particularly about anything from the Welcome to Foster Care information pack. It’s also our chance to get to know you a bit better, and learn about your motivations for wanting to be a foster carer. If you’re keen to move to the next step and we think you are ready, we go through the mandatory application forms (such as Police and Working With Children Checks) and invite you to training.

Step 4: Attend training

Our qualified workers facilitate the ‘Shared Stories, Shared Lives’ foster care training, which is the statewide framework in Victoria and New South Wales. In Western Australia, the Department of Communities, Child Protection and Family Support runs Foster Care Preparation Training.

The training modules provide up-to-date information about fostering children and child safety. You will also receive a comprehensive range of resources, to support you throughout your foster care journey. We run training regularly.

Step 5: Participate in interviews

Once you’ve finished the training, we meet with you approximately four times for assessment interviews. We’ll discuss your life, how MacKillop can best support you as a foster carer, how you would respond in certain situations and the types of foster care you are most interested in.

Step 6: Become a foster carer

After completing the training and interview process, a panel of MacKillop staff and external stakeholders/partners may accredit you as a foster carer. Once you are accredited, we match you with a child and you’ll receive ongoing case work support.

Take the first step to becoming a foster carer today.