Provide safety and stability to children who cannot live safely at home
Foster carers are everyday people who generously open their homes to children who, for various reasons, cannot live safely with their birth family, resulting from abuse, neglect, parental illness or domestic violence. Often these children have experienced trauma and need compassion, support, and stability to heal and move forward. Foster carers may look after a child for weeks, months, or years until we can safely reunite them with their birth family.
As a foster carer, you take on a parental role, keeping the child’s best interests in mind at all times and providing a safe, loving home. You support the child’s development, help them explore their interests, encourage them to stay connected to their cultural identity and birth family, and provide a therapeutic approach.
If you’re thinking of becoming a foster carer, we’re here to support you step into this challenging, life-changing and rewarding role.
When I started fostering I didn’t realise what a big part Wanslea would play. At first I thought it was just a back up when you needed a bit of support, however, I quickly learnt that the staff at Wanslea really go above and beyond and I found myself reaching out sometimes daily when things were getting a little unsettled or I was feeling a little out of my depth.
My Family Support Worker and my Social Worker have been a consistent and positive support network through my 2 years working with Wanslea, anything from asking for some parenting advice or needing a little extra help when I can’t attend certain appointments.
I didn’t realise how important it was to have a team around you that you trust and can always rely on. I’ve found that if something exciting or confronting happens, the first thing I do is pick up the phone to call our team at Wanslea. Looking back I honestly could not have done it without Wanslea and am forever grateful.”
We have found that fostering with Wanslea has taught us stronger skills as parents to manage a variety of situations. We love how we have to reflect on our personal parenting skills to adapt for other children. We love how we meet different children who have each brought us new lessons, perspectives and skills. As much as our role is to support and enrich the lives of the children, we feel they really add to our lives and feel privileged to meet them.
We like that our children get to learn new skills and that they are able to see how others live. Our Family Support Worker is always on hand with support. She is honest and reliable and invaluable!!
We mostly deal with the Wanslea Duty Social Workers who are great at advocating for us when they feel the need and at times when we maybe would say yes to anything! We also love that they share our advocacy for the children with the case manager and provide feedback so we know they have.
(I would recommend others foster through Wanslea) a million times over! Not only do they hold great values, they support the children and carers and ensure that everyone is supported. They are child focused no matter what and are great advocates for the children in care!”
Generalist foster carers look after children and young people aged up to 18 years with low to moderate needs. This type of care may require you to provide emergency, respite, temporary or permanent care to children depending on their situation.
You may be asked to provide short break care or respite care for children who already have a primary placement. This gives the primary carer a break from care and strengthens the child's informal support network.
Emergency care is often required when children first come into care, or while other placement options are arranged. In these situations, a child may need you to care for them at short notice for a minimum of 7 days up to 21 days.
Children may require temporary care while their birth parents receive help and support, or while other placement options with family members are explored. In these situations, you may care for a child for up to two years, supporting them through the reunification process with their birth family when it is safe to do so.
When children cannot return to live with their parents or other family members, you may be required to provide a secure, nurturing and stable long-term home on a more permanent basis.
Specialist foster carers look after children and young people between 0-18 years with high developmental or behavioural needs. Specialist carers have previous experience, either in fostering or other professional experience where they have gained suitable skills and training in supporting children with additional needs.
As a specialist carer, you’ll receive regular payments to reimburse you for costs associated with your role. It’s preferable that at least one specialist carer is available to stay home to ensure that the child’s needs are met, along with attending medical or other clinical appointments as needed.
1. Fill in an expression of interest
Please complete our online expression of interest enquiry form.
2. We’ll call you
A Wanslea member will call you within 24 hours to discuss your interest in fostering and answer your questions.
Once the Wanslea team member has assessed you are suitable to proceed, we’ll ask you to complete an application form and will conduct an initial home visit. To ensure the safety of all children, you will need to pass a series of checks, assessments and interviews, as well as our training before you can become a Foster carer.
Your experiences are valuable in helping us to understand the impact of our services. If you believe your rights have been violated or you have been subjected to unfair or discriminatory behaviour, let us know. We also welcome you to share anything that could benefit future program participants.
Our feedback and complaint process is confidential, and you can remain anonymous.