“A good carer is someone who’s patient, who is resilient, whose heart is open. It can be challenging but it is extremely rewarding when you see the difference in these kid’s lives that you can make when they come to live with you.”

Foster Care

Fiona K, Foster Care Trainer and Assessor

There is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ carer. You don’t have to be married, have children or own your home. However, patience, energy and an open heart go a long way towards helping a foster child. It is also essential that you can provide a living environment that is physically and emotionally safe for the child. 


Modern foster care is a vital part of a broader strategy to reunite a child with their natural family in a safe environment. Foster carers are required to collaborate with others who are working to achieve that outcome, including the child's caseworkers, medical professionals, teachers and the child's birth parents.

What does it take to be a foster carer?

Come along to our free workshop

Shared Lives: Introduction to Foster Care

We support our carers every step of the way



Comprehensive training for new carers & on-going skills trainings for experienced carers.



On-call 365 days a year, for clinical guidance & support at the time that it's needed. 

Tax free 


Financial assistance to help with the costs of foster care-related activities.



Frequent visits from a skilled case worker and regular meetings with a dedicated support worker.

The different types of Foster Care

Short term care from one week up to six months. In place when the goal is to reunite the young person with their birth or extended family. 

Long term care when the young person is not expected to return to their biological family.

In-house care for a group of children for a minimum of six months in a home provided by CASPA. The accommodation is rent-free for the carer and we cover household running costs. A fully maintained vehicle with a fuel card and a generous tax-free carer allowance is also provided for the duration of the care.

Respite care for short periods such as weekends or public holidays, when a primary foster carer requires a break.

Emergency care provided at short notice, often after-hours and weekends, when there are concerns for a young person's immediate safety. 

Relative | Kinship care when the young person lives with a relative or someone they already know. 

Right now, there are more than 20,000 children in NSW who cannot live with their birth families because of neglect, family breakdown, physical, emotional or sexual abuse,

drug or alcohol use.



The open adoption pathway for foster carers

Open adoption is the mutually agreed contact between adoptive and birth families so that the child can remain connected to their biological family and cultural heritage.

See the FACS information sheet on adoption, including open adoption >

Guardianship for foster carers

Guardianship differs from adoption in that it legally grants the guardian independent control to make decisions on behalf of a child, while the child still maintains a legal connection to their birth family. It is a common path for caregivers who are related to the child. We assist long term foster carers who are considering becoming a child’s legal guardian.

See the FACS information sheet about the pathway from foster care to guardianship >

Adoption and Guardianship