What is foster care?

CareSouth’s Out of Home Care (foster care) program looks after children from 0 to 18 years of age. Foster care is needed when a child or young person cannot live at home. This may be because of abuse and neglect, parental mental illness or drug and alcohol abuse. They may have witnessed domestic violence or general family crisis or breakdown.

Children in foster care are just like other children except they have experienced some disruption in their life. This may impact them physically, emotionally and behaviourally.

What are the types of care?

Foster care may be required for a short-term stay, while long term decisions are made for a child, or permanently. We also require respite carers who can give one weekend a month to support a child or young person. The aim is to provide children and young people who have experienced abuse or neglect or disruption with a stable home environment in which they can grow and flourish.

Who can be a carer?

Our foster carers are everyday people like you. They are young couples, same sex couples, single people, have children of their own or are retired.

Becoming a foster carer can be a very rewarding journey for you and your family. By providing a stable, caring family environment for a child or young person you can make a very positive difference to a child. Becoming a foster carer is a big-hearted decision. If you’ve given it plenty of thought, talked it through, and you have the time and the space (a spare bedroom) in your home contact CareSouth today.

We’re here to help you

CareSouth will support you to provide care for children aged 0-18 years whether you become a respite carer (typically one weekend per month), short-term carer (up to 6-18 months) or long-term carer. Our foster carers receive ongoing training, regular caseworker visits, 24/7 on call support, clinical services and a tax-free allowance. We look after you so you can look after the people who need it most.

What’s the process?

All CareSouth foster carers participate in an assessment and training process. That means several meetings and interviews. Some will be held in your home and the entire household is invited, dog included! You have a chance to talk about your preferences. You may prefer short or long term placements, for example, or have a particular wish to care for a baby, a sibling group or a young person with a disability.

You also receive preliminary training — usually run over a series of evenings or weekends — and you will need to complete criminal and other record checks. You can change your mind, if you decide that fostering is not for you, at any time in the training process. Even at the end.

Please see our resources below for more information

Fostering with CareSouth - Info for potential carers

Become A CareSouth Carer