Why be a carer?
There is currently a critical need to provide foster care in TAS.
With almost 50,000 children across Australia who need care each year, fostering a child is primarily about offering a safe, supportive and nurturing home environment.
Where you live can affect some of the criteria you need to tick off in order to become a carer in your state.
If you want to be a foster carer in TAS, there are some boxes you need to tick.
Foster carers need to be at least 21 years old, with relevant life experience, but ideally 25+.
A dedicated spare room for fostering is required. Siblings (in care) may share if considered safe and appropriate to do so. Exceptions may be considered where children are placed with relatives.
Age of your own children
We know that being able to meet every child in the household’s needs is important, and for this reason we know it is best to match children with carers who’s children are older than they are. If you have a child under the age of 18 months, we would ask that you wait to start your fostering journey once your youngest child turns 2.
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 citizen with a special class 444 visa.
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.
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.
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 2 years of age.
We ask foster carers to abstain from smoking inside the home or vehicle when any child is present.
Foster carers should be in good physical and emotional health and able to meet the needs of children in their care.
If you and an ex-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 Vulnerable People Check*
All applicants and household members over 16 years of age must be eligible for a Working With Children Check Clearance. A household member is anyone who has more than incidental contact with a child as part of their relationship to a fostering household.
National Criminal Record Check clearance
All applicants and household members 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.
Community Services Check
All applicants and household members, aged 16 years and over, are required to undergo a Community Services Check. This is a review of relevant information about an individual held by Communities Tasmania.
*What is a Working With Vulnerable Persons Check? A WWVP is a legal prerequisite for any person aged 18 or over partaking in child-related activities, no matter whether it’s paid or unpaid. It involves a check of police records, review of court findings and previous reportable behaviour, previous carer registrations or refusal of such, employment history and any other matter considered relevant by the Registrar.
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
What can I expect as a carer?
Fostering a child in TAS with Life Without Barriers means you will receive training, help and support from day one of your journey.
Life Without Barriers will provide you with a range of learning opportunities suited to your own level of experience and the needs of 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.
Fostering children in TAS 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 on-call support for advice and direction in challenging situations. Also, our specialist staff work with children and carers where additional support is needed.
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:
- Clothing and footwear
- Daily travel expenses
- Car restraints
- Educational expenses
Talking with other foster 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.
Got more questions? Get in touch today
Life Without Barriers is committed to providing safe, supportive and respectful environments for children, so that they can thrive and be happy.
If you would like to learn more about how to become a foster carer in TAS, our team is ready to answer your questions.
You can contact us today and we will come back to you as soon as possible.