- We need people like you to help provide safe, nurturing homes for Tasmanian children and young people.
- Our foster care community is made up of lots of different people from all areas of Tasmania
- We welcome and encourage carers to join us who may:
- be single or have a partner
- have parented their own children or not
- own or be renting their home
- have full or part time work, stay at home, study or are retired
- be from any culture or religion
- identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
- have any sexual or gender orientation.
What we need in a carer
Caring and patient
It sounds obvious, but it really matters. Children and young people who have experienced trauma, neglect or abuse, need somewhere to stay where they can feel safe and secure. They may take some time to build trust and feel safe, and need caring and supportive adults who can help them with skills and strategies to attend school, build friendships, learn to play and have fun.
Carers need ‘to not sweat the small stuff’ and to accept that they need to build a connection with the child or young person before they can really feel a sense of belonging.
Part of a team
The saying ‘it takes a village, to raise a child’ is never more important than it is when caring for a child or young person within Out of Home Care (OoHC).
A foster carer needs to be able to work alongside the child or young person, their family and Child Safety Officer (CSO) to meet agreed goals for the child or young person. Carers also need to work closely with a team of therapeutic supports and services to be able to offer a positive environment so the child or young person can thrive. A carer must be willing to learn different ways of interacting with and managing a child who has experienced trauma.
The child or young person has an assigned CSO who is responsible for making sure that their physical, psychological, emotional and educational needs are met. They will also work with you to organise contact visits with family members and talk with you about legal matters, meetings or restoration.
As a carer you will also be supported by the provider you deliver foster care through. They will help you to navigate the role of being a carer and build your connection with the child or young person in your care.
Each child or young person will have a Care Team to support them to be safe and well. Foster carers are a central member of the Care Team.
Willing to learn
We don’t expect foster carers to be experts, but caring for children or young people who need Out of Home Care requires relevant knowledge and skills to meet the needs of children affected by trauma. We are going to ask you to learn different ways of parenting to help a child who has experienced abuse and neglect to build relationships and skills for the future. We need carers to be open to building their capability through engaging with reading material or attending training that will assist them in their caring role.
Flexible and resilient
Sometimes not everything goes to plan and a foster carer needs to be flexible. A sense of humour and an ability to ask the right person for help when this happens is important. A carer who shows resilience can help a child or young person build these skills for the future.
Children in care have a right to privacy and for their stories and circumstances to be kept confidential. Carers are asked to be respectful of the child or young person’s cultures or traditions and be open to them observing religious or cultural practices. Carers will be asked to actively encourage participation in Aboriginal cultural activities. Children need acceptance and respect for their families of origin and an acceptance of the right to have contact with their birth family and extended family.
In conjunction with the Tasmanian Commissioner for Children and the CREATE Foundation, a Charter of Rights (PDF, 888KB) has been developed for children living in Out of Home Care. Carers are expected to uphold these important rights.
Carers need to keep an open mind and reserve judgement about the experiences of the families of children and young people in their care. Every family is different, and many families face incredible challenges. Children and young people do best when all of the adults around them show respect for each other and can communicate and interact well.
Children in care have a range of physical and emotional needs. Supporting them to feel safe is a priority. A supportive care environment helps children and young people to settle into care while maintaining a relationship with their families. Carers are asked to help with transport to family visits and provide children and young people with patience and understanding when they are sad about being away from their families.
Helping children to participate in sporting, community or cultural activities is also part of the role of a foster carer. Carers may also be asked to undertake therapeutic play with the child or young person or attend medical or counselling appointments with them.
A sense of humour and playfulness is a key ingredient for foster carers. Connecting with the child or young person, playing fun games, going for walks, and being a bit ‘goofy’ all help them to feel a sense of belonging.
A carer is someone who can get to know the child or young person, listen to them, and understand how to best meet their needs. Foster carers need to be able to communicate with the members of the Care Team, both professionals and non-professionals, to support the child or young person. There may be many people involved in the life of a child or young person involved with Out of Home Care and the voice of the child or young person is most important.
Frequently asked questions about foster care
Being a foster carer is a very rewarding and important role. Before you consider this role, you need to consider how this decision will impact your life. A list of frequently asked questions has been developed to help give you more information about what being a foster carer involves.
Click through to read the frequently asked questions on foster care.
Foster care providers
We partner with a variety of organisations around Tasmania to deliver foster care. To see the list of organisations within Tasmania, visit the foster care providers page.
For more information about becoming a Foster Carer, please contact us:
Phone: 1800 732 522