Become a Foster Carer
Foster Carer application process
The process of becoming a carer involves a number of steps and can take six months or more, depending on the needs of Pathfinders to assess the safety and competency of all applicant.
1. Read the Foster Carer information package
There are many children in NSW who need safe families to care for them.
If you are willing to take on this important role we will send you an information package, which contains basic information about becoming a foster carer.
Foster Carer Information Package Download
2. Registering your Interest
To begin the formal process of your foster carer application, you will need to complete and return your Registration of Interest form. This form helps us to understand your situation, experience, expectations, and the type of foster care in which you are interested.
Our Registration of Interest form is located at the end of the Foster Care Information Package, alternatively, you can download the Registration of Interest Form here.
Forms can be returned by mail to:
Pathfinders Foster Care Team
PO BOX 1052
Armidale, NSW 2350
Or returned via email to email@example.com
3. Home Visit
After you have submitted your Registration of Interest, one of our workers will call you to arrange a time to meet you and your family at home or schedule a time for a phone interview. This is a chance for us to learn more about you and have a look at your home. For you, it is an opportunity to learn more about fostering.
4. Application and Screening
You will be asked to compete an Application to Care Form. The form asks for background details about you and your family. Part of your application includes giving permission to carry out police checks, contact referees, and obtain a health report from your doctor. Foster carers also need a Working with Children Check – you will be asked to apply for this if you do not already have one.
The assessment starts after we have received some of the essential screening information. We will visit you and your family several times in your home. With your assessor you will decide what type of foster care you wish to provide, and what age and gender of child would best fit with your lifestyle.
The assessor will talk to you about your skills and experiences related to the following:
- meeting the foster child’s emotional, educational, psychological and physical needs
- providing a safe environment
- working as part of a team
- taking the responsibility to learn and develop as a carer, and
- your ability to respond to the cultural needs of the child.
The assessment process is very thorough and may, at times, feel intrusive due to our duty of care to you, your family and the foster child.
To prepare for fostering, you will need to attend two days of training. During these sessions you will learn about why children enter care, their need to remain connected to their birth family, the issues that they may experience, and the roles and responsibilities of yourself, Pathfinders and the Department of Communities and Justice.
You will have the opportunity to read the assessment report, with the exception of referee comments, and discuss any concerns with your assessor. Once the final report has been completed, the assessor will submit the report to the Approval Panel for endorsement and approval. If endorsed and approved, you will receive a letter of approval.
8. Next Steps
Once approved as a foster carer, you will be supported by Pathfinders on your foster care journey. Our Intake Manager will be responsible for placing a foster child with you, and the child will be supported by their own Pathfinders case worker who will work with the child’s family and with you to set a plan that is in the child’s best interests.
Pathfinders Foster Care
109 Jessie Street,
Phone: 1800 314 199