Become a foster carer
We urgently need more foster carers to support Victorian children and young people who cannot live safely at home.
As a foster carer, you’ll provide a safe and nurturing home to a local child and help them to thrive.
Sadly, many of the children and young people in our care have suffered abuse, neglect or trauma. Join our community of carers and help make a positive difference to a child’s life.
We welcome carers from all backgrounds and walks of life. If you're over 21 and can offer a child their own room, you can apply to be a foster carer.
Anyone can be a foster carer, and hopefully get just as much out of it as we do...We've gotten so much more out of it than we've ever put in, that's for sure.
Victorian children urgently need safe homes
Across Australia, 1 in 32* children need child protection services.
In Victoria, the number of children in out-of-home care has risen every year over the last 10 years.
Right now, over 12,000 Victorian children cannot live safely at home.
Foster carers play an important role in giving these children loving and safe homes and helping them to imagine a brighter future for themselves.
*Child protection Australia 2020-21, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
I've been a foster carer for 32 years...A lot of [the children] have grown up and gotten older now, and they never forgot us, and that's really heart-warming for us.
Who can be a foster carer?
We welcome carers from a diverse range of different backgrounds, cultures and experiences.
Our foster carers are:
- single, married or in a de facto relationship
- from LGBTIQA+ communities
- any religion, spirituality or nationality
- families with or without children
- in a variety of working and living arrangements
- living in houses, flats or shared households (rented or owned).
What are the types of foster care?
There are four different types of foster care placements:
- respite care – you give full-time carers, parents or guardians a regular break (1 or 2 weekends a month)
- emergency care – you care for children who are at risk and need a placement immediately
- short-term care – you care for children from a few weeks up to 6 months. These children are often reunited with their family
- long-term care – you care for children who need a longer stay (from 6+ months).
Our experienced staff will work with you to determine which foster care placement will suit your lifestyle.
What support do foster carers receive?
As a Berry Street foster carer, you'll be supported by:
- a dedicated case worker
- 24-hour support and practical help from experienced Berry Street staff
- training and programs to develop your skills as a foster carer
- opportunities to talk to other carers
- help making your home meet the standards for foster care
- a fortnightly allowance (paid by the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing).
[Foster care] has taught me things about myself that I never imagined. Every day is a privilege. I love it.
As a Berry Street foster carer, you’ll make a meaningful and positive contribution to your community. Start your foster care journey today!