Frequently Asked Questions - Kinship Care
Anyone who is either related to the child - e.g a grandparent, uncle, aunt, other extended family member - or someone with an established relationship with the child. Kinship carers need to be an adult who's in reasonable health, have a safe home for children, and be able to obtain a Blue Card (working with children check). Apply to become a kinship carer
You'll be contacted by us on behalf of the Queensland Government's Child Safety department, or you'll be contacted directly by Child Safety. The child, their parents or someone else close to the family will have mentioned you as a possible kinship carer. You can also contact us if you know a child going into foster care that you may wish to care for.
Yes - you just need to be able to provide a safe, stable home for the child or young person and successfully complete the application process.
You can receive a fast or 'provisional approval' within days, in a case where a child or young person needs to leave home immediately. This provisional approval lasts for 90 days while the longer, more detailed initial assessment you'll need to do can take a few months.
Not necessarily, but you'll need to be guided by the child's needs. You will need to have enough room generally in your house to be able to provide the kind of kinship care the child needs. A baby will most likely be in your room, but a teenager is going to need somewhere to study and also relax.
It can be frustrating for people who are close to the child - often grandparents, aunts, uncles - to need to continually share information with the Department of Children while they have a child under kinship care. However, this is a legal requirement of the state's child protection system, and needs to be done.
Yes. You'll be offered training as soon as you become a kinship carer, and then ongoing training as you continue. We have a 24/7 support line for kinship carers to call any time, while they have a child in their care.
We have respite foster carers ready to step in so you can take time away - for a day, weekend or a holiday. If you want to take the child away with you on holiday, this may be possible - but you'll need to talk to your kinship care support team member first, as this becomes a process where you may need to apply to the government to do so, or seek permission from the parents.
Whenever you have a child as part of a formal kinship care arrangement, you'll receive a fortnightly carer allowance that's set by government as a minimum. The allowance is tax-free, and not considered income by Centrelink or the Australian Tax Office. The allowance changes depending on factors, including the child's age, with the base fortnightly allowance starting at around $525.
While the allowance may not cover all costs associated with caring for a child, it is designed to help meet your day-to-day costs. There are also other allowances on top of the base allowance, that you may be eligible for.
There's also a Carer Business Discount Card, that you'll be eligible for - often offering 10% at many retailers across Queensland.
The Department will try to reunite foster children with their immediate family, but sadly this isn't always possible because home isn't safe for them. Some foster children do remain in long-term kinship care, right up until they are ready to leave home.