Foster Care - Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

How are foster carers matched with children?

Each child is matched to an approved foster carer based on a range of criteria that aims to promote stability and long-lasting relationships. All foster families receive ongoing support and training to maintain their capacity to care and assist them to meet the changing needs of the child in their care.

Who can foster carers call for emergency assistance?

UnitingCare Queensland provides an after-hours on-call service from 5pm-9am weekdays and 24/7 on weekends and public holidays. Carers can contact this service to receive support, advice and to report matters.

Why is it important for a child to maintain contact with their family? 

The relationships that children in care have with their families can be complex, however it is important to remember that they are family regardless. Where possible, family contact can contribute to a child’s sense of self and is also important when working towards reunifying a child with their family. 

Contact can include phone calls, letters, emails and face-to-face contact, depending on what Child Safety deems appropriate and safe for the child. As a carer you may be asked to participate in transporting a child to family contact arrangements.

Do foster carers receive financial support?

A fortnightly caring allowance is provided by the Queensland Government to foster carers to help meet the day-to-day costs of caring. The allowance is not an income or wage for providing care. Dependent on individual circumstances carers may also be entitled to access additional support via Centrelink. Refer to the ‘Financial Support’ section of this booklet for further details.

Can I take a child in my care on holidays?

Carers can travel with a child in their care anywhere within Queensland via non-air travel without prior approval from Child Safety. You should always notify your Child Safety Officer about any overnight travel. Any travel arrangements made should not interfere with family contact or other parts of a child’s routine such as schooling. All interstate or overseas travel will require permission from Child Safety. You will need to allow plenty of time for approvals to be processed.

Will I get a break?

Some carers may find that providing on-going care for a child who has experienced trauma can at times be demanding and in some cases carers may need a break.. There are options to support carers such a short break care that can be provided as a one-off or as a regular part of the care management of a child.

Can children change schools?

It is important for children who are coming into care that much of their familiar environment is maintained. A change of school is a decision that usually remains with the child’s guardian, therefore any requests for a change of school needs to be approved by Child Safety prior to enrolment.

Will children arrive with any belongings?

Some children will arrive with their own belongings but others may not. We encourage carers to have basic personal care supplies such as toothbrushes, deodorant and soap available for children when they first enter your home. You will also need to purchase necessities for your child in care, as well as any items that may help them to settle into your home more smoothly, for example items to personalise their bedroom, schooling needs  etc. 

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