become a foster carer

child playing cats cradle

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

Family and Community Services encourages most people interested in foster care to apply with an accredited non-government foster care agency (there are over 40 across NSW).  Research has shown that non-government agencies are best placed to deliver out-of-home care support to children and carers.

Am I eligible to become a foster carer?

You can apply to become a foster carer if you are:

  • 18 years and over
  • an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • in good physical and emotional health without any medical condition that may affect your 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 Family and Community Services foster carer

While most people are now authorised as a carer by a non-government agency, Family and Community Services is 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, Walgett and Moree areas
  • applicants who would like to provide care for adolescents or children with special needs/disabilities, or would like to provide immediate/crisis care in the following areas:

    • 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

For more information please complete the enquiry form or call 9765 5000.

To learn more about fostering, including eligibility, support and the experiences of carers and to find an agency nearest you 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)