Our foster carers come from many different cultural backgrounds, speak many different languages and have very different family circumstances. The diversity of families is important to help us place children in a home that will match their particular needs.
We ask that carers fulfil certain criteria which we assess on an individual case-by-case basis. Our Frequently Asked Questionswill help you decide if you could become a foster carer.
What does it mean to be a foster carer?
Being a foster carer means caring for someone else’s child in your own home, but not being the child’s legal guardian.
Why do children need foster care?
Children and young people need care because they are unable to live with their birth families. The reasons vary and include physical abuse, neglect of basic needs, parental mental illness, domestic violence, disability or family crisis, and lack of family supports.
How do I know if I could be a foster carer?
Foster carers need to be over the age of 21 and in good health. You should also be able to provide a safe, stable and caring home environment, and most of all you should enjoy caring for children and young people.
What makes a good foster carer?
Ideally a good foster carer will:
How does Family Spirit support foster carers?
Each Family Spirit foster carer is allocated a case manager who provides support and supervision through regular home visits and phone calls. Carers and their families also have access to the Family Spirit Care for the Carer package which includes:
What type of care is required?
The type of care required will depend on the need of each child or young person. Care options include:
Is support available to my own children if we become foster carers?
Family Spirit recognises the importance of supporting the whole family. Your children are included in the process to ensure they are comfortable with their family caring for other children and young people.
Do I need a big house to be a carer?
Your home needs to be child friendly and safe. You will need to provide the child/ren with their own bed, but they can share a bedroom with a sibling, but not with an adult or one of your children.
Will I receive financial assistance?
All carers receive a tax-free allowance to help cover day-to-day expenses for the child such as food, clothing, education, travel and leisure activities.
Do I need to pay school fees for my foster child?
If your foster child attends a systemic Sydney Catholic School in the Archdiocese of Sydney you have access to a bursary that covers school fees. This applies to primary and secondary school students.
Can I foster if I’m single?
Yes, we welcome applications from people who are single, with or without children, as well as couples in stable relationships. We will help you explore your network of family and friends to support you.
Can I work and become a foster carer?
Yes, we understand that people may need to work alongside caring for a child. Talk to us about this and we can help you to consider what kinds of care might be most appropriate for you.
Can I foster a child if I have my own children?
Yes you can. We ask that your youngest child is two years older than a foster child to ensure the needs of both children can be met.
What if I want to adopt a child that I foster?
In some cases this may be possible if this is in the best interests of the child. As an accredited adoptions agen- y, Family Spirit is able to train and authorise carers to become both foster carers and adoptive parents.
How does the application process work?
Family Spirit takes a personal approach with each application by taking into account individual circumstances. The first step is to call us on 13 18 19 or submit an online enquiry at familyspirit.org so we can guide you through the steps.
What are my rights and responsibilities as a foster carer?
As a foster carer, you have the right to:
As a foster carer, you are responsible for: