Are you considering becoming a Cafs Foster Carer? Read our FAQs to find out more.
I work full time – can I be a Carer?
Yes, you can. In fact, lots of our Carers work full time. You need to ensure you have enough time and energy to commit to a child or young person. Remember, you can always choose to provide respite care.
Can I be a Carer if I’m single?
Yes. Foster Carers can be individuals, couples or part of a family. Caring for a child can be quite challenging, but you will have the Cafs team to support you every step of the way.
I’ve never had children – can I be a Carer?
Yes. Whilst caring for a child can be quite challenging, you’ll have the Cafs team to support you every step of the way. You will also receive approved statewide Foster Carer training and have the opportunity to enhance your knowledge base.
We are a same-sex couple – can we be Carers?
Yes. Sexual orientation has no bearing on eligibility. Diversity in our Carers helps us meet the diverse needs of our children and young people.
Is being a Foster Carer challenging?
Yes, it can be. Our Carers always tell us that the rewards outweigh the challenges. It’s important to remember that a child in foster care may display difficult behaviours that can be challenging to manage. It is important to recognise that the child may have been through difficult life experiences, including separation, grief and loss, and trauma.
Do I have to have a spare room?
No, but it is preferred. Children in foster care can share a room depending on the age and gender of the children. However, all children in foster care require their own bed and a place to store their belongings.
Can Foster Carers be any age?
Carers must be at least 21 years of age, but there is no maximum age.
I am renting, can I be a Carer?
Yes. Whether you rent or own your home has no bearing on your eligibility.
Do I need to be an Australian citizen?
Foster Carers must be Australian citizens or permanent residents.
What healthy environment standards do I need to be aware of?
Foster Carers need to ensure children are being cared for in a healthy environment. Things you need to be aware of include a safe home environment, physically as well as emotionally, infection control procedures and ensuring there is no smoking inside the home.
If I have a police record, would I still be eligible to become a Foster Carer?
A police record will not automatically stop you from being approved as a Foster Carer. It would depend on the type and how recent the offence; however, certain offences, such as sexual or physical abuse, particularly of a child, would rule out approval. Other people over 18 years of age living in your household would also need to have a police check and a working-with-children check. You can clarify this with Cafs.
What training does Cafs provide?
Cafs provides approved statewide Foster Carer training, using the Shared Lives Package as well as offering further opportunities for ongoing training. You will have the opportunity to enhance your knowledge base on childhood development, the impact of trauma and attachment, grief and loss, and the impact of abuse. These training sessions assist in developing Foster Carers’ skills.
How does Cafs support Foster Carers?
Cafs provides regular support to Carers through the case practitioner. This is done regularly via home visits, agency visits and telephone calls. Cafs Carers have access to after-hours emergency support.
Is there a Cafs Foster Carer community?
Social events organised by Cafs can also provide a good source of support through networking with other Foster Carers and the Foster Care team.
The Foster Care Association of Victoria (FCAV) represents all Victorian Foster Carers. The association advocates for Foster Carers and the children in their care. It is encouraged that all Cafs Foster Carers become a members of the FCAV.
Does Cafs pay Foster Carers?
Foster Care is a volunteer role, not a paid position. However, Foster Carers receive a fortnightly tax-free reimbursement that contributes towards the ordinary day-to-day costs of caring for a child or young person. The level of reimbursement depends on the age and needs of the child.
The caregiver reimbursement contributes towards items such as food, clothing, household provisions, gifts, pocket money and entertainment. The reimbursement is not considered a payment for fostering. As such, it is not considered a source of income by Centrelink or for taxation purposes.
Do Cafs foster children always return to their birth family?
Cafs always focuses on reuniting children with family as a first choice, but sometimes this is just not possible. When children do return to their families, this can be hard for our Foster Carers and it can take an emotional toll. Support from your Foster Care Practitioner is very important at this time and we will be there for you every step of the way.
About Cafs Carers
At Cafs, we believe every child should have the opportunity to live in a safe and nurturing home. Offer a warm and loving home and make sure the child receives the care and support they need to grow and thrive. Learn more about becoming a Carer.
115 Lydiard Street North
Ballarat VIC 3350
Cafs acknowledges our past. In the spirit of reconciliation, we give deepest respect to Australia's First Nations Peoples. Their histories, their stories, their resilience. Their connection to culture and land. The wisdom of their Elders past, present and emerging.