Frequently Asked Questions
Who can become a Foster Carer?
William Campbell Foundation Foster Carers have to be over the age of 21 and be an Australian Citizen or permanent resident. You can be a family, couple or single person and could come from any diverse background. We are looking for people who can give a child a safe and loving home.
What can I expect as a Foster Carer?
As Foster Carers, you need to understand that most of the children and young people coming into care have experienced adversity in their lives. This could mean they have suffered trauma, abuse or neglect and this can affect their 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.
Do children and young people have contact with 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.
If Restoration is a permanency pathway that is suitable for the child or young person, the Caseworker will work with you in ensuring the child has contact with their family on a regular basis.
Our Family Support Service supports children and young people with family time. This is a case by case basis and will be discussed with you by your Caseworker.
Why do I need to provide a medical check?
You would be surprised how often we get asked this! Carers need to be fit and healthy both physically and psychologically to be able to be a foster carer. Some carers due to age or health reasons chose to become emergency crisis carers or respite carers instead of long-term.
I have my own children, does this mean I cannot be a Foster Carer?
If an applicant has children of their own, the age of the children or young person placed would preferably be at least two years younger than the children of the applicant. Research and experience has shown this assists in ensuring that the foster care family can provide the necessary focus on the particular needs of the children in care and has minimal disruption of family dynamics. This is assessed case by case.
Do I have to be Christian to be a WCF Foster Carer?
We are welcoming of all religions. It is important, however, that you are comfortable with the Christian values that are embodied in our organisation's values and vision.
Will I be taxed on my Foster Care Allowance?
No, the Foster Care allowance is exempt from taxation and is not cited as income.
Can I continue to work full-time?
In all our care situations, it is our preference to have carers who are available to meet the child or young person's needs, to allow the development of trusting relationships between carers and children or young people grow.
We have carers who work full-time, part-time, casually or are full-time Foster Carers.
Do I have to own my own home?
Applicants should have adequate, safe accommodation for a child, children or young person/s. Applicants don't need to own their own home.
Can a Foster child share a bedroom?
A bedroom should be available for a foster child, however sharing may be appropriate if it is with their sibling.
Do I have to live in a certain area to become a WCF Foster Carer?
To maintain contact, support, and training with the agency and caseworkers, it is important that applicants are living within one hour drive of our offices. This is vital and ensures that we can support you and the children or young people placed with you. William Campbell Foundation currently has offices in Bomaderry, Warilla, and Ulladulla.
Is there an After Hours Service
To maintain contact, support, and training with the agency and caseworkers, it is important that applicants are living within one hour drive of our offices. This is vital and ensures that we can support you and the children or young people placed with you, William Campbell Foundation currently has offices in Bomaderry, Warilla, and Ulladulla.
How much will I be told about a child or young person before they arrive?
We discuss every placement with our carers and it is your decision whether to accept a placement. We will provide you with as much information about the child or young person and his/her background as possible, including any difficult behaviour and how to manage that. However, sometimes we have very little information, especially in an emergency crisis placement. In these instances, we would seek to find out as much information as possible, as quickly as possible.
What if I have applied to another agency?
Foster Carers can only care through one agency at one time. Applicants must advise of previous applications to become Foster Carers with other agencies within Australia and overseas, the outcomes of those applications.
Read more about our
Permanency Support Program
We support you so you can support the children in your care
Read more about the different
types of foster care
Hear from some of our carers
about their foster care journey
Find out more about the steps
to becoming a foster carer
A child in care himself, Bill's story has inspired many people in our community