All children have the right to a family environment where they feel valued and safe.
Foster carers provide this at a time when vulnerable children and young people need it the most. Sometimes misconceptions and fears stop families from exploring foster care because they cloud what the experience is really like.
Let’s bust some of those myths.
I’m not married so I can’t be a carer
We welcome carers from all backgrounds, cultures and experiences. Foster carers can be married, single or same-sex couples, with or without children, divorced or de facto. All families are different. Centacare recognises this and embraces diversity.
You need to be able to care for a child full-time
Short-term and respite carers are an integral part of the foster system. If you can’t commit to long-term care but still want to make a difference, these types of foster care may be the perfect solution. Short-term foster carers support children while we find them a more permanent home.
Respite carers give permanent carers a break and act as another positive influence in children’s lives. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child.
Only young children need foster care homes
Foster care is not only for vulnerable babies and toddlers. Older children and young people who are at risk also need a safe place to live and belong and develop positive relationships to assist them to heal and move forward in life.
Older children are more difficult to care for
Every life stage has its challenges and benefits. For example, an infant can be physically demanding and is completely dependent on a carer, whereas an older child can be more independent and attend school but may require more help with emotional regulation and role modelling.
You need to have a big home
Children and young people in foster care need a space where they feel like they belong. As part of this, children need to have their own bedroom. Sibling groups can share a bedroom but we ask that children who aren’t related have their own room.
Having a desire to make a difference in the life of a young person is the biggest requirement – we’ll help you negotiate the rest.
I’m too old to be a foster carer
Age is not a barrier to becoming a foster carer.
If you yearn to be a positive influence in the life of another and are in a position to provide consistent care for a child, Centacare would love to hear from you.
Many retired couples are able to fill the `empty nest’ by caring for children and young people in need. Their wealth of life experience makes them fantastic mentors, especially for adolescents, as they have lived experience with that age group from parenting their own children.
You need to be a perfect parent
Nobody’s perfect! What counts is that you have a genuine interest in making a positive contribution to a young person’s life.
We’ll work with you to equip you with the skills you need for success and will provide you with ongoing support, guidance and training to develop your skills and knowledge and to assist you in your fostering journey.
I don’t have the skills to foster a child
We all need to start somewhere in whatever roles we play in life. Centacare will be there every step of the way to support you on your foster care journey. We provide all the training and resources you’ll need to be the best carer you can be.
For more information about becoming a foster carer, phone our team on 8159 1400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org