Foster Care enquiry
We’re here to make sure all your questions are answered.
Yes, you certainly can be single and be an authorised foster carer. Many of our carers are single and they provide a fantastic, supportive home for children who need it.
Absolutely, you can rent your home and be a foster carer. Children and young people in care require their own bedroom, but you don’t need to own your home.
Pensioners can be foster carers, and they often have the time needed to invest into a child or young person to really make a difference. We don’t have a maximum age limit because every person’s circumstances are different. The life experience, wisdom and gentle care provided by someone who has had lots of birthdays can be just what some children need.
We welcome students to apply to become foster carers. Many of our carers are busy and have lots of commitments, just like students do. The foster carer allowance can be particularly helpful for carers who are students, to help cover the additional costs of having a child in your care.
Foster Carers receive a tax-free allowance that assists in the day-to-day costs of raising a child. It helps cover things such as school fees, food, clothing, sporting fees etc. The carer allowance is calculated at a nightly rate for each child and depends on their level of needs. Additional payments may be received from Centrelink, depending on the person’s individual circumstances.
Some foster carers start out this way to allow them to ‘ease their way into it’. Other carers, make a conscious decision from the start to have a child for one weekend a month (as an example). This is known as respite or weekend care. Respite Care also provides a great opportunity for children to gain new experiences with their respite family, which adds to the child’s network of support.
Allambi Care have an experienced on-call team to ensure support is available 24/7 to carers and children. We believe it is vitally important to ensure carers have someone to call for assistance whenever they need it. Find out more about the support we offer here.
At Allambi Care, we understand the joys and the challenges that come with fostering, and we are committed to providing you with a range of supports to ensure that both you and the young person in your care thrive. These include training, 24/7 assistance, financial aid, access to holistic healthcare and opportunities for the young person to return home safely. Click here for more information on how we support our Foster Carers.
Being a carer can be challenging at times, however, we are reminded regularly by our carers just how rewarding being a carer can be. Sometimes it is something small, like scoring a goal at soccer or having a good day at school. Other times they are huge achievements like being voted in as school captain, coming first in a maths exam or making a new friend. We celebrate all things big and small and are so proud of all the things our carers help the kids achieve.
Where we come from matters, whether we are a foster child or not. Remaining connected to our family is important as this helps us with our identity. Children and young people who are disconnected from family and kin are less likely to have positive outcomes. It’s important that foster carers are encouraging of child’s connection to family as it helps ensure the child maintains a sense of identity and belonging to their family. For Aboriginal children this is particularly important, as it helps the child develop an understanding of their culture, as well as their connection to their family and community.
This is something we will help you with. It is important to make sure it is safe for your family and in the best interests of the child, which in most cases it is. It is extremely rare for a child in foster care to not spend any time with their family, and seeing their family is often very important to the child and the child’s family.
Sometimes a child needs some extra support after time with their family as it can be confusing and upsetting for them, and this is when they need an understanding and supportive foster carer to be there for them.
Ideally, foster carers get to know the child’s family and form a mutual respect of the role each person plays in the life of the child. Whilst this can take some time, it makes a huge difference to the child when they see the adults in their lives working as a unified team to support them.
Yes. Just under 50% of the children who need a foster care home are Aboriginal. Ideally, all Aboriginal children in OOHC would be cared for by Aboriginal foster carers who are supported by Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, however until this is able to be achieved, Aboriginal children will still need safe, nurturing homes with foster carers who are able to provide culturally appropriate care. This could be with a non-Aboriginal foster carer with a non-Aboriginal agency, but only when all other options have been exhausted.
Many foster carers are very busy people, however they are still able to make a positive difference in the life of a child. Providing care for 2 days a month (respite or weekend care) is a great place to start and can be very rewarding.
No. We don’t have a maximum age limit because every person’s health circumstances are different. The life experience, wisdom and gentle care provided by someone who has had lots of birthdays can be just what some children need. Of course, we need to consider the needs of the child and the reality that looking after any child requires a certain amount of energy. The best thing to do is contact us so we can meet you, to ensure an informed decision can be made. We don’t want a child to miss out, just because someone thought they were too old to be a carer.
Foster Carers receive a tax-free allowance that assists in the day-to-day costs of raising a child. It helps cover things such as school fees, food, clothing, sporting fees etc. The carer allowance is calculated at a nightly rate for each child and depends on their level of need. Carers might qualify for additional payments from Centrelink depending on their individual circumstances, which is something we can assist with.
Absolutely. Many people have become foster carers without having children of their own. The training and support Allambi provides can be particularly helpful for this cohort of carers, and although the learning curve might be steep, it is often extremely rewarding at the same time. Our carers are never alone in their fostering journey as we are with them every step of the way.
To ensure the right people become foster carers, there are probity checks along with a comprehensive assessment process that needs to be completed. This not only guarantees applicants can make an informed decision about being a carer, it also ensures only suitable applicants become authorised carers. This process generally takes around 3 months to complete. Once a carer is authorised, a child could be placed with them the following day, or it could take months. The ‘matching process’ considers many factors, including the needs of the child and the capacity of the foster family. This is a joint decision (between the agency and the carer) to ensure everyone is comfortable with the placement going ahead.
Open Adoption is possible in both NSW and VIC, where it is the most preferable permanency option for the child.
Get in touch and we'll answer your questions.Get in touch
Most people are a bit unsure about who can be a Foster Carer. The truth is, there is not just one type of Foster Carer.