become a foster carer

child playing cats cradle

People become foster carers for all sorts of reasons, but the main reason is that they love and enjoy the company of children and believe they have the time and energy to provide a safe and nurturing home for children and young people.   .

Becoming a foster carer

Community Services encourages people interested in foster care to apply with a non-government agency.  In NSW you can become a foster carer with one of more than 40 accredited foster care agencies operating across NSW. You’ll need to check if you are suitable and there are checks required as part of the process.

Community Services is transferring out-of-home services to the non-government sector and is only currently recruiting a very small number of carers for certain areas of NSW. Research has shown that non-government agencies are best placed to deliver out-of-home care support to children and carers.

To learn more and read about fostering with a foster care agency including eligibility, support and the experiences of carers, and to find an agency near you, visit You can also call 1800 2 FOSTER (1800 236 783) to find out more about fostering.

Am I eligible to become a foster carer?

Anyone can apply to become a foster carer if they are:

  • 18 years and above
  • an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • in good physical and emotional health without any medical condition that may affect their ability to care for a child or young person

You can be:

  • Single, married or in a de facto or same sex relationship
  • Renting, buying or you may own your home
  • Working or not working
  • From any culture and with a diverse range of life experience
  • A parent or someone who has a strong interest in helping children and young people

Will I be suitable to be a foster carer?

Your suitability to be an authorised foster carer will be determined based on the outcomes of background checks on all adults in the household including criminal record check, Community Services history and personal and medical referee checks.

Having a criminal record does not automatically disqualify you from becoming a carer. The nature of the offence for example, will be taken into consideration as part of your assessment as a potential carer.

Agencies will look at your competence in certain areas such as your personal readiness to become a foster carer, your ability to work effectively as part of a team, your capacity to promote the positive development of children and young people in care and your ability to provide a safe environment that is free of abuse.

Becoming a Community Services foster carer

While most people are now authorised as a carer by a non- government agency, Community Services is still seeking to recruit a small number of foster carers.  At this time, these include:

  • Aboriginal applicants
  • all applicants living in the Bourke/Cobar, Broken Hill, Brewarrina and Walgett areas.
  • applicants from the following areas who would like to provide care for adolescents or children with special needs/disabilities, or would like to provide immediate/crisis care:
    • Sydney (most areas)
    • Illawarra/Shoalhaven area
    • Albury, Wagga Wagga, Griffith, Leeton and Deniliquin areas
  • applicants from the following areas who would like to provide care for sibling groups:
    • Western and Central Sydney
    • Albury, Wagga Wagga, Griffith, Leeton and Deniliquin areas

If you would like more information about whether you may be eligible to apply as a carer with Community Services, please complete the enquiry form below or call 9765 5000. 

Enquiry form - fostering with Community Services

If you are eligible, you will be emailed the application form to complete.

If you do not fit the criteria above, we encourage you to visit or call 1800 2 FOSTER (1800 236 783).

To report suspected child abuse or neglect, call the Child Protection Helpline on 132 111 (24 hours/7 days)