What is foster care?
Foster care involves providing a safe and nurturing home for a specified and agreed amount of time for people between 0 and 18 years of age who can't live with their biological parents.
Foster care arrangements range from respite care (occasional weekend care for young people), up to long-term placements, when young people become a part of your family, preferably up to when they turn 18.
There are six types of foster care:
Respite - when carers require a break, usually for short periods (e.g. weekends). These are scheduled in advance.
Emergency - when there are concerns for a young person's immediate safety. Provided at short notice, often after hours and on weekends.
Short term - when the goal is on reuniting the young person with their birth or extended family. This can last up to six months.
Long term - when the young person is not expected to return to their biological family.
Relative/kinship care - when the young person lives with a relative or someone they already know.
In-house care (new!) - when carers provide fostering for a group of children for at least 6 months in a home provided by CASPA. Apart from a rent-free house, CASPA covers all costs of utilities, costs for the children, provides a fully maintained vehicle with a fuel card and a generous tax-free carer allowance.
It is up to you how much time your family can give to fostering. You might be available for a few nights, weeks or years. Whatever type of care works for you, your help will always be valued.
Why do children need fostering?
Right now, there are more than 20,000 children in NSW who cannot live with their birth families. The reasons for this include physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse, neglect, drug or alcohol use, depression or family breakdown. All of these children have experienced the difficult loss and often painful separation from their birth family.
CASPA is looking for committed people who can offer a safe and stable home to children in need of foster care in the Northern NSW. If you have had experience with foster care, have worked with children or young people in a professional capacity, or even if you have no previous experience but feel you have the qualities needed, you could be just the person we are looking for.
You do not have to be married, have children or own the house you live in. However, you should be emotionally resilient, enjoy teamwork and provide foster children with their own bedroom. This is an essential criterion.
Who makes good foster carers?
There’s no such thing as the ‘perfect’ carer. However, patience, energy and a sense of humour can go a long way towards helping a foster child.
It’s important to be a team player, as you will need to share the care of a foster child with other people, including caseworkers, teachers, medical professionals and the birth parents.
The difference between CASPA and many other organisations is our level and quality of support.
Monthly meetings with a designated support worker
Foster Carers Support Group
Tax-free allowance to help with fostering related activities
External clinical guidance
Shared Lives (SL) is a free accredited workshop that all people who intend to become carers need to undertake as part of their initial assessment. It is also an amazing opportunity to learn about your responsibilities and rights as a carer under CASPA's trauma-informed care. Please check below for the next training sessions in your area. This section is constantly updated and this training is available throughout the Mid and Far North Coast of NSW.
We have 21 SLs scheduled for 2019 across the Mid and Far North Coast of NSW. Click and register for free: http://caspaservices.eventbrite.com
For more information about how you can join our caring community please fill the form at the top of the page so we can get in touch with you as soon as possible.
Thank you for your interest in becoming a foster carer.