How to become a foster or kinship carer
If you are interested in becoming a carer, you can let us know by submitting an expression of interest.
To express your interest in becoming a carer, you must be:
- over 18 years of age, and
- eligible to obtain, or already have, a Blue Card.
Before you begin
Before you submit an expression of interest to become a carer, it is important that you have considered how this decision will affect your life, lifestyle, family and friends. Have you:
- read about the steps to become a foster carer or kinship carer?
- considered how this will impact your life?
- considered both the rewards and challenges?
- read about the types of foster care?
- read real stories from foster carers?
- spoken to your family and friends about your desire to become a foster carer?
Kinship carers are usually identified by the child’s family or a Child Safety Officer (CSO) when it is decided that a child is unable to live at home. The CSO would generally contact the potential kinship carer about becoming a kinship carer, in the first instance. There may be circumstances where family members may make an enquiry online in relation to becoming a carer, for example the child’s circumstances are unknown.
If you need to find out more information before submitting an expression of interest, please phone or email Foster Care Queensland (FCQ) on the contact details below to discuss your concerns or answer your questions.
How to express your interest in becoming a foster or kinship carer
If you have considered all the information provided, apply to become a foster or kinship carer. Once your form has been received, you will be contacted to discuss the formal process for becoming a carer..
FCQ, the peak agency for representing and advocating for foster and kinship carers in Queensland, manages the foster and kinship care recruitment line and responds to online expressions of interest. Once they receive your expression of interest, they will contact you to provide further information about the foster and kinship care program.
The process to become an approved foster or kinship carer usually takes around 3 to 6 months. This varies depending on your individual circumstances and the type of care you want to provide.
Following your submission of an expression of interest, you may be invited to attend an information session in your local area.
To become a foster or kinship carer, you will be assisted to complete the following forms, interviews and training:
- Application for approval form. This gives the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women (the department) information to help with personal history checks for you and your adult household members. This includes consideration of criminal and child protection history, and where necessary, domestic violence and traffic history.
- Blue card application. This must be completed by you and any other adult members of the household. The department can help with this process.
- Household safety study. This will be completed by the person making the assessment and includes mandatory safety requirements that must be met prior to you being approved as a carer.
- Health and wellbeing questionnaire. This questionnaire will be completed with the help of the person making the assessment. Medical assessments may be required as part of the process.
- Referee checks. Referee checks are discretionary and may occur at any point during the assessment, including employer referee checks if you are in child-related employment.
- Required interviews. These will be conducted by the person making the assessment. You, your children (depending on their age), any adult household members and significant others will be interviewed.
- Pre-service training. This training will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to commence your role as a foster carer.
Please talk to FCQ about how to access these forms and who will assist you.
If your application is approved by the department, you will:
- receive a letter confirming that you have been approved as a foster carer
- receive a Certificate of Approval as a foster carer. This is for an initial 12 months and requires renewal every 2 years thereafter, upon application and approval.
- work with the department and your non-government foster and kinship care service to develop a Foster Carer Agreement detailing the support available to help you fulfil your role, ongoing training requirements and the types of placements you are willing to consider.
If your application is not approved by the department, you will receive a letter stating the reasons for the decision and your right of review.