For their privacy and to retain a sense of normality in their lives, you may not always be able to share information about the child in your care with your family or friends. You may also have to ask your own children not to tell that their new housemates are foster children.
For you privacy, we don’t normally give your address to the child’s family unless it’s appropriate and you have given your permission.
Foster carers get a fortnightly subsidy towards the cost of looking after a foster child. You also get additional payments for clothing, school, medical, and recreational expenses. The amount depends on the age and needs of the child.
The subsidy is tax-free – you don’t have to declare it as income.
You can also receive Family Allowance for foster children – you’ll need to discuss the length of the care arrangement with the Case Worker and meet Centrelink criteria.
If your foster child is sick, you should take them to a doctor as with any child. You may need Department permission for some dental and medical treatments. The Department pays any medical expenses.
Holidays may be an experience that some children in care have not had. Foster carers must have approval in advance to take a child away. You will have to get special permission to take a child overseas or interstate.
If you need a regular or occasional break (or in an emergency), we also have a respite care service where the child can stay with another person or attend a residential camp.
We try and keep children in their local area to continue contact with familiar people and places.
If the child is staying for a short period they’ll usually remain at their own school. If it’s a permanent care arrangement, then they’ll attend a school in your area.
Generally they will attend public schools to maintain consistent education, as in many cases they will return home.