Single. Partnered. Gay. Straight. Young. Senior.

If you have a desire, and the capacity, to provide a safe, respectful, caring environment for children, and want nothing more than to welcome children into your home and life, you can become a foster carer.

While there are some boxes that need to be ticked, the most valuable attributes you will bring is not the size of your home, the length of your CV, or your relationship status.

Life Without Barriers wants foster carers who will bring security, stability, respect and joy into children’s lives.

It’s that simple.

"We’re only in our 50s so we've got plenty of life to live and love to give."

Colin and Andrea, married with kids, caring for children with complex needs.

"While we were doing [Life Without Barriers] training we met with other same-sex couples – so we’re not the only gays in the village!"

Sophiaan and Chris, married, no kids, providing long-term care for children with trauma and behavioural challenges.

"I’ve often been asked how as a single woman I’ve been ‘allowed’ to be a carer. Respite care can be [provided by] a single male or female, and busy professionals can contribute, too. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise."

Raechel, single, no kids, provides regular respite care.

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander foster carers

To ensure children maintain connections with their country, kin and culture, we need Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander foster carers for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander kids.

Could you be a carer?

Take the foster care self-assessment. It only takes minutes to find out if foster care is something you could do.

Take the quiz

Becoming a foster carer

So, what’s the process? Start by considering the following statements:

Children in care need someone who can spend time with them, support them to learn and grow, and help them reach their developmental and educational milestones. Whether you become a foster carer specialising in long- or short-term, emergency, respite/short-break care, you will need to be willing and able to give your time generously to the children in your care. Great Carers realise that investing time in children through everyday moments is key to building healing relationships.
We know that with their families is the best place for children to be. It’s our responsibility to investigate and support all options for children to return safely home or to explore opportunities for them to live with extended family. As a foster carer, you will play an important role in helping children maintain and strengthen their relationships with their family and return home safely where possible. As a carer you will need to be open to partnering with families to help a child gain a strong sense of who they are, even when they can’t go home.
All children can do well with the right help, care and support, and all children deserve the opportunity to do great things. It’s important that as a foster carer you not only believe in a child’s potential, but that you also actively support each child to reach their goals and aspirations. Championing the unique strengths that each child has, and encouraging them to do great things, even in the small moments of everyday life, is an important part of your role as a carer.
Every child needs to feel like they are part of a family who loves and supports them. This is especially important when there are other children in the household. Each child needs to know they are special, and to feel included and valued. Foster carers need to have space in their homes – and hearts – to build a sense of belonging for children they care for.
Every child in care has their own specific challenges based on their age, life experiences, trauma, diagnosis or medical needs. Great carers are curious and interested, and do all they can to increase their knowledge and skills, in order to meet children where they are at in every moment. This includes learning from children, their families and your Life Without Barriers care team As a carer you will need to be patient, resilient and flexible in responding to the changing needs of children you care for.
Most children will be distressed when they are separated from their families, and many yearn to return home. It’s essential that foster carers help kids develop positive, lasting family relationships, to ensure they have a chance to go home, and are able to develop a healthy identity if this doesn’t happen. Children are more secure when they know that their foster carers accept, include and support their own family.
A child in care will benefit from developing relationships with your whole family. Being included in a secure, caring family that functions well is important. If you have children living at home, it’s important they are settled and happy, enjoy their own company, are comfortable sharing your time, are willing to share their space and belongings, and like being around other children. Fostering is something your whole family will be part of and it’s important that everyone is ready.

Carer checklist

About you

  • Over 18 with relevant life experience (In some states and territories you may need to be over 21 or 25)
  • From any culture, ethnicity, faith, sexuality or gender identity/expression
  • Well and healthy
  • Happy to undergo background checks

About your home and family

  • With or without children
  • Have a stable home with available space
  • Everyone active and willing to be involved with fostering
  • Happy to undergo background checks

I’m ready. What’s the process for becoming a foster carer?

Applications to become a foster Carer take up to 12 months, but don’t let that put you off. When you consider everything that’s at stake, it’s no wonder it takes some time.

As well as making sure our Foster Carers have the right training and support in place, Life Without Barriers will also spend time matching the right foster carer to the right child.

  • Step 1: Make an enquiry

    You can speak to one of our specialist team by contacting us on 1300 592 227 or at carers@lwb.org.au. Alternatively, you can submit the online form below and one of our team will be in touch.

  • Step 2: Let’s talk

    One of our team will call to talk you through the process in more detail. During this time, you will learn more about the needs of children in care and the role of a foster carer. This will help you decide if fostering is right for you and if now is the right time. If you feel ready to progress further at this stage, we will organise a phone interview to chat more about your suitability and how fostering might work for you.

  • Step 3: Home Visit

    We’ll link you with your local carer team who will organise a home visit or organise a group information session for you to attend. During the home visit, we make sure you can provide a safe place for a child or young person to stay and provide you with some paperwork to take the next steps.

  • Step 4: Training

    If you chose to apply, you will participate in a workshop-style training program to help you understand and prepare for your role as a foster carer. These programs are a great opportunity for you to meet other applicants and experienced carers, and learn from their experiences.

  • Step 5: Assessment

    During the carer assessment process, an assessor will visit you several times in your home and interview all members of your family to ensure fostering is a good fit for everyone. We’ll explore your life experiences, and the important carer attributes to ensure children in care have a safe and supportive environment.

  • Step 6: Approval

    If the assessment shows you are a good fit for foster care, you will become an approved foster carer. Together with our assessor, recommendations will be made about the types of care, needs of children and number of children you’d be best placed to care for. This will help us make a good match with children needing care.

  • Congratulations!

    Our care teams will look after you with extra training, and connect you with our Caring Community whilst we look to make a good match with children needing your care. Your journey with us doesn’t end there. Life Without Barriers are with you the whole way and you will receive ongoing support and training from our team over the whole of your caring journey.

Keen to learn more? Get in touch today.

We’re sure you have questions, and our team is waiting to answer them. You can contact us today and we will come back to you as soon as possible.

Talk to a specialist

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