Thousands of children in Australia need safe, loving homes.


Provide a safe and loving home for a child.

Ever thought about Foster Care?
The difference you can make will last a lifetime.

Thousands of children and young people in Australia need a safe place to call home. We need more carers to open their homes, on either a part-time or full-time basis to provide short-term or long-term care.

It may be the hardest and best thing you ever do.

What is Foster Care?

When a child is unable to live at home for safety reasons and can’t be cared for by a relative, trained and assessed Foster Carers provide care while the best plan for permanent care of the child is determined.

Types of Foster Care include:

Emergency Foster Care
Short-term Foster Care
Long-term Foster Care
Therapeutic or Specialised Foster Care
Respite Foster Care (e.g. one weekend a month).

There is also a role for ‘Lead Tenants’ (or ‘live-in mentors’), supporting young people as they transition to independent living.

N.B. If you aren’t in a position to open your home to a child on a full-time basis, you might be able to provide Respite Foster Care, which can be both a good first step into Foster Care and a huge source of support for full-time carers.

For more information on the types of Foster Care and state-based links for Child Protection Departments, Foster Care Associations and lists of Foster Care Agencies, check out Foster Care: An Overview.

The ideal goal in Foster Care is for children to be reunited with their biological family where possible. Foster Care can sometimes lead to a permanent care arrangement, but this generally isn’t the main objective. Learn more about Permanent Guardianship and Adoption here.

Who can be a carer & what’s involved?

We’ve covered some frequently asked questions and gathered a range of information to help you decide if this is the right time to welcome a child into your home.

Who can be a Foster Carer?

There is no such thing as a typical Foster Care household.
Foster Carers come from diverse backgrounds, family types and walks of life.

You need to:

  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident,
  • Be over 21 years of age,
  • Have a spare bedroom, and
  • Be willing for you and members of your household to do relevant background checks.

You can:

  • Be single, or have a spouse or partner,
  • Work part-time, full-time, study, or be retired,
  • Be a homeowner or renter, or
  • Have children, grandchildren, or neither.

If you currently have children, agencies may have preferences around the age of children who are placed with you, for example being at least two years younger than your youngest child.

In some instances, agencies may ask about any current fertility treatment and may require a period of time to pass before pursuing becoming a carer.

What’s your next step?

Pursuing Foster Care is a big decision. We encourage you to approach it with prayer, wise counsel, and within community.

There are plenty of points along the way that will help you to decide if this is the right time to welcome a child into your home, whether for monthly respite care, short-term care, or a longer-term placement. We encourage you to keep moving forward.

LEARN MORE: Explore Foster Care further with our Foster Care: First Steps resource.
ASK OTHER CARERS: If you know a carer, ask them what agency they are with and what their experience has been.
ENQUIRE WITH AN AGENCY: Look into agencies providing a Foster Care program in your local area (lists are available here).

Foster Care: First Steps

Foster Care: First Steps is a free resource that will help grow your understanding of a faith-based, holistic approach to Foster Care and help you to consider your readiness to pursue it.