What Is Foster And Kinship Care?
Foster and kinship carers provide safe and caring homes for children who are unable to stay at home because of their protective needs. Foster carers are people living in the community who are able to care for other children and who, after training and assessment, have been approved as carers.
Kinship carers are people within a child’s family or community who take on the responsibility of caring for the child. Children and young people can be in foster care for a few nights, a few months or until a child reaches independence.
Are There Different Types Of Care?
Each child or young person’s circumstances are unique and foster and kinship care is tailored to their needs. Short-term care focuses on maintaining family connections and reuniting the child with their family. Long-term care is needed when a child is not able to return to their family and lasts until they reach eighteen years of age.
Foster and kinship care also includes emergency care (for brief periods at short notice), respite care (for short periods when children and their carers need a break) and intensive care (for a more focused level of care).
Who Can Become A Foster Carer?
Anyone over the age of eighteen years and an Australian citizen or permanent resident, single or in an established family, in good health and able to offer a warm and welcoming family environment can apply to become a foster carer. Once the necessary training, assessments and checks have been satisfactorily completed, the Department of Community Child Safety Services will give approval for you to become a foster carer.
We will help you through this process to ensure that everyone in your home can consider what foster caring will mean for you and your family.
What Do We Expect From You As A Foster Carer?
Foster carers need to be able to provide a safe and supportive home environment for children and young people who may be troubled or have experienced trauma. You will need to be prepared to attend training to develop new skills. You will be required to keep information in relation to foster children confidential, even from close friends and family.
Foster carers need to be prepared to work closely with the Department of Communities Child Safety Services and the child’s family to plan and maintain the best care for the child.
Foster carers are also expected to:
• Provide emotional support and care to meet the child’s everyday needs.
• Help the child communicate and behave in positive ways.
• Support the child in their schooling and recreational activities.
• Help the child maintain contact with their parents and extended family.
• Support the child’s cultural and religious needs.
To find out more about fostering in Brisbane check out the Mercy Family Services Website