There is currently a critical need for foster carers and kinship carers in Melbourne, Geelong, Bendigo, and across Victoria.

With almost 50,000 children across Australia who need care each year, caring for a child or young person is primarily about offering a safe, supportive and nurturing home environment.

Becoming a carer in Victoria

If you want to be a foster carer in Victoria, there are some boxes you need to tick.

  • Age

    Foster carers need to be at least 21 years old, with relevant life experience.

    Spare room

    A dedicated spare room for a young person in care is required. Siblings (in care) may share a room if it is safe and appropriate to do so. Exceptions may be considered in kinship care.

    Age of your own children

    We know that it is important to be able to meet every child in the household’s needs, and for this reason, we know it is best to match children with carers whose children are older than they are. If you have a child under the age of 18 months, we ask that you wait to start your fostering journey once your youngest child turns 2. We would ask that you wait until your youngest child is 6 years of age to consider fostering in Victoria.


    Foster carers need to have the right to permanently live in Australia. This means you need to either be a permanent resident or citizen, or hold a New Zealand citizenship with a special class 444 visa.

    Driver’s licence/vehicle

    Foster carers should hold a driver’s licence and have access to a reliable vehicle with comprehensive insurance. Having reliable transport is important to ensure children can access the important networks within their lives.

    Partnership requirements

    If you are applying to foster with a partner, you will need to have been in a stable relationship for at least two years. Both potential carers will need to be willing participants in the process of becoming a carer.

    IVF/adoption considerations

    If you (or your partner) are pregnant, attempting to fall pregnant or involved in fertility, surrogacy or adoption processes, foster care applications are not able to proceed at this time. If you have recently completed assisted fertility treatment, we would ask that you wait 12 months to consider starting your fostering journey, or until your youngest child is 6 years old before you commence an application with us.

  • Smoking

    We ask foster carers to abstain from smoking inside the home or vehicle when any child is present. Visitors to your home will need to adhere to this requirement also.


    Foster carers should be in good physical and emotional health and able to meet the needs of children in their care.

    Shared parenting

    If you and a former partner currently share parenting responsibility of children, your child’s other parent must be in full agreement with fostering occurring in your home.

    Working With Children Check clearance*

    All applicants and household members and overnight visitors over 18 must be eligible for a Working With Children Check Clearance. A household member is anyone who visits for 21 days, or more, in a year.

    National Criminal Record Check clearance

    All applicants and household members and overnight visitors aged 16 years and older are required by law to undergo a National Police Check. There are some criminal charges that may prevent you from becoming a foster carer, and others that may require further exploration in order to assess your suitability. If you’ve resided overseas at any time, we may ask that you complete an international police check as well.

    Community Services Check

    All applicants and household members aged 18 and above need to disclose any current or previous applications to foster or any current or previous involvement by Child Protection/the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing with a child in their care. We then run a check with the Department to verify this information. Additionally, all applicants and household members will be required to complete a Disqualified Carers Check as part of the application process so we can verify you have not been disqualified from caring for children.

    The Victorian Carers Register

    If you are approved as a foster carer in Victoria your details will be added to the Victorian Carers Register. The register records all approved carer households across the state and any individuals who have been disqualified from caring for children. The register is accessible by all Fostering Agencies and Child Protection authorities.

*What is a Working With Children Check? The Working with Children Check is a screening process for assessing or re-assessing people who work with or care for children in Victoria. The check takes a detailed look at the criminal history and relevant professional conduct findings of applicants to ensure we’re assisting to protect children from sexual or physical harm.

Could you be a carer?

If you have been thinking about becoming a foster carer, our foster care self-assessment quiz is a great place to start!

Take the quiz
Foster carers Rebecca and Bree
Foster carers Rebecca and Bree

What can I expect as a carer?

Providing foster care or kinship care for a child of young person in Victoria with Life Without Barriers means you will receive training, help and support from day one of your journey.

  • Training

    Life Without Barriers will provide you with a range of learning opportunities suited to your own level of experience and the needs of the children in your care. This includes access to a large range of eLearning options on topics such as child development, understanding trauma and stress, and healthy living.

    • CARE: We are committed to ensuring carers and staff support children in a way that creates conditions for positive change.

    • Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI): This evidence-informed model is used to teach staff and carers how to help children handle stress in constructive ways.

    • Family involved: Protecting a child’s first and most enduring relationships.


    Providing care for children in Victoria with Life Without Barriers means you are never alone in your journey. It can be difficult to understand some of the experiences children bring with them, so it’s important that as a carer you feel supported and confident in your role. You will have access to 24/7 support for advice and direction in challenging situations. Also, our specialist staff work with children and carers where additional support is needed.

    Carer networking

    Talking with other carers is sometimes the best form of support. Through regular events and online communities, we create opportunities for carers like you to share concerns, celebrate successes and provide feedback to the Life Without Barriers team. We also have a Carer Peer Support Group which you can join.

  • Financial support

    As a carer, you will receive a tax-free allowance to support the individual needs of children placed in your care. Foster carers are volunteers, so this is not considered income and all potential carers need to show they are financially stable when they start their fostering journey. It is important to note that funds provided are for items that the child in your care will need, such as:

    • Food

    • Clothing and footwear

    • Daily travel expenses

    • Car restraints

    • Gifts

    • Educational expenses

    • Hobbies

    Visit the DFFH website to learn more

Got more questions? Get in touch today

You can contact our friendly foster care team today and we will come back to you as soon as possible.