Chat with us
The first step in becoming a Foster Carer is to talk to our Carer Support Officer. We can answer your questions and book a time to meet you at your home and complete the Foster Carer Application Form. You can find more information in our "Become a Foster Carer" booklet below.
enquire about becoming a foster carer
Our Carer Support Officer will arrange a time to meet with you in your home to provide you with the opportunity to ask any further questions and to complete the Foster Carer Application Form. You will be asked to provide information about your home, health, family members and employment, as well as providing the names of people who can provide character references for you. Our Carer Support Officer will also ask about your motivation to become a Foster Carer and your preferences for fostering (such as age and gender of a child). It will also give us the opportunity to help you assess your home for relevant child safety issues.
During this visit we will ask you to complete the following forms:
- Foster Carer Application Form
- Consent to record your application with the Department of Communities, Child Protection and Family Support Foster Care Directory of WA
- Consent form for Criminal and Department of Communities, Child Protection and Family Support record checks
- Consent form for us to contact your local Doctor and/or specialists
For registration, applicants are required to attend "Fostering with Skill and Care" preparation training provided by the Department of Communities, Child Protection and Family Support. This training takes 19 hours and is provided in modules which occur on weeknights and weekends.
Foster Carers are encouraged to participate in ongoing training each year, which advances their skills and knowledge in caring for foster children. MercyCare offers access to a wide range of training opportunities.
MercyCare is accredited Safeguarding Children organisation with the Australian Childhood Foundation. We believe children and young people have a right to be safe, feel safe, be cared for and be respected. Mandatory Safeguarding training is provided for all Foster Carers upon commencement and throughout your time caring for children and young people.
The assessment in your home normally takes between 10-20 hours over a number of sessions with an External Assessor.
All applicants are subject to the same assessment process and requirements. You are able to withdraw your application at any time should you feel that the program would not be suitable to you or your family.
Once the assessment sessions and report are completed, the assessor will go through their recommendations with you. If the assessor recommends you for foster care you will then attend a selection panel interview with us.
Following the panel and approval process, you will complete the Orientation to Fostering and we will commence identifying and matching a child for placement with you.
Time for a for a change?
We recognise Foster Carers sometimes consider transferring to another fostering agency.
Fostering is such a unique area that Foster Carers need to know that they are being well supported in their role and feel a sense of ‘match’ or ‘fit’ with the service they are registered to care with.
Some of the important issues Foster Carers consider are:
- Level of support and responsiveness provided by the team
- Understanding and listening to Foster Carer’s voices and needs
- Providing appropriate matching of children to the composition of foster families
- Mission and Values of the organisation
- Advocacy and support for the needs of children
We are happy to talk to any currently registered carers about our service and what we provide.
We always advise that Carers considering transferring to MercyCare Fostering Services undertake an open discussion with the service agency they are registered with to discuss issues, support in decision making and assistance in the transfer process.