Alternative Care Services - Frequently Asked Questions

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We understand that people have many questions about becoming a foster carer. The most frequently asked questions are answered below and more detailed information is located on this site. If you would like further information and assistance please email Alternative Services at Contact Us.

I am a single person. Can I still be a carer?

Yes. Many single people make successful carers. You don't have to be married to become a carer, it's the qualities you bring to caring that count the most.

We are a couple in a defacto relationship. Can we become carers?

Yes. Couples, whether married or in defacto relationships, including same sex couples, can all apply to become carers if they can provide a child or a young person with a stable and nurturing home environment.

Do you have to be a parent to become a carer?

No, you do not have to be a parent to become a carer.

We do not own our own home, can we still apply?

Yes. Good foster caring happens in all types of homes. However, safe and adequate accommodation should be provided for a child where they can live, play and sleep. This doesn't mean that foster carers need to own their own home, however a foster child needs a bedroom, which can be shared with other children if appropriate.

Are people who work able to become foster carers?

Yes. Many parents successfully balance the demands of caring for their family with their employment, and many carers can too. Carers can be employed in full-time or part-time jobs. Caring can be a demanding role in itself, and is also suited to people who are not employed. You may decide to take some time off work when a child first comes into your home.

It's also important that carers do take the time to enjoy their own interests. However, carers with particularly busy lifestyles may be more suited to providing respite care, that is caring for children on weekends or during the school holidays.

How will I manage the costs of caring for a child in my home?

All registered carers receive a weekly carers allowance. This allowance varies according to the age of the child and whether the child is identified as having special needs. The allowance is intended to cover the basic costs of caring for the child. Other extraordinary costs can be paid or reimbursed to the carers. A carers allowance is not considered to be a source of personal income.

Do I need to be a Lutheran to apply become a foster carer?

No, you do not need to have any religious or spiritual affiliation to be considered as a foster carer. We are interested in the care qualities you will offer a child and the environment in which they will live.