Questions kids ask us + answers
The Government's Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs decides if it's too unsafe for a kid or teen to stay living at home. Unsafe can mean different things - there could be violence at home, drug and alcohol problems, other dangers in the house. Every child or young person deserves a safe and caring home.
The Department makes this decision and we can help you speak with someone at the Department if you want more information about this.
The Department decides if a child needs to stay in foster care. We also have residential care homes for teens to live in shared homes with other teens and a roster of dedicated carers - instead of foster care.
We connect foster kids with foster carers. When we make a connection, we also have a case worker who you'll get to know. This case worker will meet and chat with both you and your foster carer regularly, to hear how things are going and to see if there's any extra help you need. We also assess people who apply to be foster carers and we also provide foster care training, too.
We do everything we can to match you to foster carers who'll best suit you. Wherever we can, we'll try to get a carer as close as we can to where you lived. Sometimes carers will tell us if they're able to care for a teen, a younger child or a baby - this depends on their situation, and often whether or not they work full time. All of our foster carers have passed our assessment (which took them between 4 and 6 months) and also have Blue Cards (working with children check card).
Always tell your case worker if you're unhappy at your foster home. We need to hear about your situation and if there's anything we can do to improve it.
We know how important it is for you to see your family as much as possible. Talk to the Department about the possibility of more, or more regular contact visits. We can help you make contact.
We always try to keep brothers and sisters together, but we can't always find carers who have the space to take more than one child at the one time. Always speak to your case worker about seeing your brothers and sisters as much as possible, and to keep looking for a foster home that has room for your siblings (they do exist - there's just not as many of them).
We'll try to get you closer to home if that's possible and if it's in your best interest to change carers.
We always try to match kids and teens with foster carers from the same culture, but this isn't always possible. Talk to your foster carer and case worker about needing to spend more time with your community - they'll do everything they can to make this happen. Don't think they're doing enough? Let us know
If you tell us how you're feeling, we can arrange the help you need. We can arrange appointments with counsellors and other experts who can help. You can also contact the Kids Help Line if you'd rather have a private chat.
We work closely with the Create Foundation - a group that raises the voice of young people in foster care, all around Australia. The Create Foundation wants to hear from as many kids in foster care as possible. They do research, hold events and create campaigns on issues that are important to you - with your voice at the front of everything they do.