Foster Care FAQs

Who can become a foster carer?

Anyone can apply to become a foster carer. Whether you’re single, married, divorced or in a same sex relationship, we’d love to hear from you. Every child has different needs, so having a variety of carers on board means we can make the best possible match for both the child and the carer.

Do I have to be Aboriginal to be a KARI carer?

At KARI, we are committed to recruiting Aboriginal carers for Aboriginal children, in line with the Aboriginal Placement Principal. However, we do welcome those who aren’t of Aboriginal descent to become respite and crisis carers.

How long does it take before our family can become foster carers?

Due to the many checks involved in the foster carer recruitment process, the time it takes to become registered does vary. However, the average time generally falls anywhere between three to six months, depending on the pace set by you as the carer and the relevant checks that need to be undertaken.

What checks are carried out on my household and myself?

As part of the application process, we work with a number of agencies to carry out certain checks on you and your household. These include the following:

  • Working with Children Check – All household members who are over the age of 18 require a cleared Working with Children Check.
  • National Police Check – All household members who are over the age of 16 are required to undergo a National Police Check.
  • Medical Check – The primary applicants are required to visit the doctor and complete our medical questionnaire. This ensures your health and wellbeing is at a level that’s suitable to care for and support a foster child.
  • House Safety Check – It’s important that all foster children are placed in safe home environments, where they have enough space for their own time out and privacy.
  • Community Services Check – in partnership with Family and Community Services, a check is done on the statewide KIDS system. This ensures applicants are suitable for the role of foster carer.
  • You’ll also be asked to provide two personal references, including one from a family member. They’ll be asked to provide written references, as well as being interviewed as part of the assessment process.

Can I be a foster carer if I have a criminal record?

Every application is assessed on its own merits. The success of your application will depend on the nature of the offence and the timeframe in which it occurred.

Can I be a foster carer if I work?

This depends on the needs of the child and the type of care you wish to provide, as well as the flexibility of your work.

Do carers receive support?

KARI’s dedicated staff are on-hand to offer constant support to our foster carers. You’ll be allocated a caseworker to support you every step of the way, as well as being provided with training and a fortnightly carer allowance to assist with the everyday costs that come with caring for a foster child.

A number of other payments and reimbursements are also available following further discussion and negotiation with your allocated caseworker.