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Out-of-home care

Foster care services

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With over 140 years of dedicated support for Victorian children and families, Berry Street is a trusted name in foster care services. We recognise the vital role foster carers play in the lives of children and young people in foster care.

Our mission is clear: to provide children who, for a range of reasons, cannot live with their birth families, the opportunity to thrive within a safe and nurturing home environment. We cater to the diverse needs of every child or young person in care, always acting in their best interests.

As a foster care agency in Victoria we:

  • Recruit, train, assess and register people as suitable foster carers
  • Place children with Berry Street foster carers
  • Support our foster carers so they are equipped to care for children in their home
  • Manage contact between the child and biological parents.

Recruiting prospective foster carers

Our organisation is committed to inclusivity, welcoming individuals who come from various cultural and diverse backgrounds to become foster carers. Discover how you can start your foster journey and apply to become a foster carer.

All prospective carers go through a process of assessment and training before becoming accredited foster carers in Victoria. We want to make sure that individuals are up to the task and that their household and house is a nurturing environment for a vulnerable foster child to live.

All applicants and adults in the household complete a range of background safety checks including a home review, police and Working with Children checks.

Prospective carers receive comprehensive training to prepare for the experience of being a foster carer.

We conduct a range of assessment activities before the foster carers can be accredited by the foster care panel. Once accredited, carers then have access to ongoing training to ensure they are providing the best possible care.

Foster care support services

We understand the importance of providing our carers practical help and professional support.

Each carer has access to:

  • a 24/7 on-call service for emergencies
  • a dedicated case manager
  • education and training in therapeutic care, behavioural management and other relevant topics, such as drug and alcohol awareness
  • networking activities and social events to connect with other carers and children
  • other carers in their local area to talk to as part of our peer mentoring program
  • the Foster Care Association of Victoria and Carers Assistance programs
  • regular care team meetings, where everyone involved in a child’s life discusses their needs and how to meet them.

Coordinating a child’s contact with their biological birth family

The aim of foster care is to help children return to their biological families, provided this is in the best interests of the child.

Part of our role is to manage any contact between the foster carer and the child’s biological parents.

Our case managers develop a relationship with the biological family and introduce them to their child’s carer if appropriate.

Many Berry Street long-term carers have developed very positive relationships with the biological families of children in their care, which is hugely beneficial for all involved, especially the children.

Learn more about becoming a foster carer with Berry Street.