How to Become a Foster Parent

The 6 steps to becoming a foster parent.

A toddler helps his foster carer wash the dirty dishes in the kitchen sink

Being a foster parent (also known as a foster carer) is an important role.


But along with the reward of helping create a brighter future for some of our most vulnerable children and young people, foster carers face challenges. Our training and accreditation process equips you for these challenges, and usually takes 3–9 months.

Our training, assessment and support 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.

Step 1: Make an enquiry

Making an enquiry is the first step towards becoming a MacKillop foster carer. You can complete our online enquiry form or call us on 1300 791 677. Then, we will contact you.

Step 2: Chat over the phone

During our first conversation, we explain the foster system and how you can become part of it. It’s your first opportunity to ask us anything about foster care, including the process to become a foster carer and what to expect when fostering children. Once we’ve talked and answered your questions, if you want to find out more, we’ll arrange a time to come to your house, to talk in person. Or you may like to take some time to think about it and get back to us. We’ll also email you a Welcome to Foster Care information pack, which explains foster care in more detail.

Step 3: Information exchange

Our home visit is your second opportunity to ask us about foster care, particularly about anything from the Welcome to Foster Care information pack. And it’s also our chance to get to know you, to see if you can provide suitable care for a child. If you’re keen to move to the next step and we think you are suitable, 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 for Child Protection and Family Support runs Foster Care Preparation Training.

The training modules provide up-to-date information about fostering children. 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. In the 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.

MacKillop is currently recruiting and training foster carers. Can you help give a child or a young person a brighter future?

Yes, I can help a child!

Contacts

  • Foster Care Enquiry Hotline1300 791 677