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What to expect
Children and teenagers who come into care often come from families affected by a range of issues that can impact on their emotional maturity and development.
It may take some time for them to adjust to living with a new family. Sometimes this can be expressed with anger, anxiety or difficult behaviour.
Carers need to be sensitive to the child’s experience of leaving their own family, despite difficult circumstances, and living with someone new.
Caseworkers work with carers and children to overcome problems they may experience. This includes providing support and specialist treatment where necessary.
How will fostering affect my children?
When adults make a decision to become foster carers they also make the decision for their children to become part of a family that fosters.
Fostering is a very significant change in anyone's life, even more so for the children within the family.
It is important that you talk to your children about fostering and help to prepare them for any impact it may have on the family.
While children are growing up, they may be more able to foster at certain times and less able at others.
It is not unheard of for a family to take a break from fostering for a short period, for instance when a child of the family is taking their school exams.
Will fostering affect my benefits or tax?
No, the foster care allowance is currently not taxed and does not impact on any benefits that you may be receiving from Centrelink.
Contact between the child and their family while in foster care
In nearly all cases children will want to maintain contact with their families during the time they are in foster care.
Research shows that children who do keep in regular contact with their families tend to do better in foster care than those who, for whatever reason, lose touch.
It is important that you encourage them to maintain contact with their family and help to make this happen as appropriate to their needs. Contact can include letters, phone calls and pre-arranged visits.