MercyCare / Community Services / Foster Care / Can I be a Carer?

Can I be a Carer?

Our foster carers come in all shapes and sizes.

MercyCare’s foster carers are ordinary people making an extraordinary difference in the life of a child.
We welcome carers who are married, single, living together or divorced, from all backgrounds and from all cultures with different life experiences.

What makes a great foster carer?

Do you have what it takes to open your heart and home? At MercyCare, we believe that it starts with being big-hearted. We look for people who:

  • Have genuine care, empathy and respect for children
  • Have the time and space in their life for children
  • Can offer a stable and safe home
  • Are flexible, resilient and compassionate
  • Are able to work in partnership with a variety of professionals
  • Are willing to undertake training to enhance their skills and gain further understanding of children’s needs

Should I become a foster carer?

Taking the steps to becoming a foster carer is not as daunting as you might think. Find out about the MercyCare difference and what foster carers can expect when they open their heart and home.

How to become a foster carer

Chat with us

The first step in becoming a MercyCare Foster Carer is to give us a call. We can answer your questions and book a time to meet you in your home. If you are ready, you can complete the Foster Carer Application Form.

Home Visit

Our Carer Support Officer will meet you and your family in your home. This is an opportunity for us to answer any questions you have, and for us to learn more about you, your needs and preferences, as well as your home, health, family members and employment.
Prospective foster carers are required to undergo a:

  • Police and Departmental record check
  • Working with Children check
  • Home safety check
  • Personal referee checks and a health examination
  • Any adult household members (over 18) must also undergo a Police and Departmental record check.

Foster Training

The Fostering with Skill and Care training provided by the Department of Communities, Child Protection and Family Support will support you to learn about fostering and the role of a foster carer. This training takes 19 hours and is offered on weeknights and weekends.

We will continue to offer ongoing training to advance your skill and knowledge in caring for children.

MercyCare is an accredited Safeguarding Children and Young People organisation with the Australian Childhood Foundation. We are dedicated to safeguarding children, young people and the vulnerable across all areas of the organisation.

Assessment

An external assessor will be allocated to assess you and your family’s ability to care for and provide a positive and nurturing home for children in care. The assessor will prepare a report for the MercyCare Fostering Panel and go through any recommendations with you.

If the assessor recommends you for foster care, you will then attend a selection panel interview with us. Once approved you will become a registered MercyCare foster carer.

Matching

The MercyCare team will start finding the right match for you and a child.