Become a carer

Central Queensland Indigenous Development

Foster & Kinship Care

FAQs – Frequently asked questions

Become a Murri foster carer and keep our mob united. Finding homes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids in their community.

This service is available in:

  • Rockhampton

Frequently Asked Questions

General questions about foster and kinship care

How do I become a foster or kinship carer?

You let us know you are interested and we’ll help you. There is an application process that involves providing the Department of Child Safety with information about your household, to ensure children are placed in safe homes. This process can take time, but we journey with you the whole way.

What is a kinship carer?

Kinship carers care for children who are part of their own family group or have a significant relationship with the child.

What is a general foster carer?

A General Foster Carer – is a carer who is approved by the Department Child Safety, Youth and Women to care for any child or young person that requires an out of home placement.

How does foster or kinship care change lives?

The opportunity for children to live in a safe and nurturing environment allows children to avoid and recover from trauma and grow up with hope for the future.

Do I get a say in the children I foster?

Yes. You’re approval to become a carer is on the basis of you identifying age, gender, ability and behaviours and the type of care you wish to provide. CQID will always check with you before we place a child with you.

Do carers get paid?

Carers receive a fortnightly allowance to contribute towards the cost of raising the child. Carers may also be eligible for Family Tax Benefit. All children have their own Health Card.

What do foster and kinship carers do?

Carers look after children in their own home and help with all the normal things a child needs support with – school, sport, hobbies, family, medical etc. They provide care, support and stability in a caring home environment.

How are carers helped?

CQID staff and Department of Child Safety staff are available to support carers, including guiding you personally through the application process. CQID will continue to work closely with you to understand your needs and help with your queries and concerns.

How can I best support a foster child?

To help children, foster carers need patience, commitment and empathy. Foster children thrive when they are included and feel they belong in the carer’s family.

What kind of people become carers?

Carers come from all walks of life. If you can provide a safe and nurturing environment for a child, we’d love to talk to you.

Why should I foster through CQID?

CQID is an Indigenous community controlled organisation dedicated to improving life opportunities for Indigenous people. Our foster and kinship care team are Indigenous people with a lot of experience helping Indigenous carers. We also have other services that could help you. We really care about our people.

How much training is involved?

There are 4 modules of training that must be completed to be accepted as a Foster carer. These modules are generally completed 1-2 days. Once you become an approved carer there is a further 3 modules to complete over the next 12 months. There is an ongoing focus on ensuring carers are well informed. CQID can also arrange specific training that you identify you need. Kinship carers are encouraged to complete training.

Will I be taxed on the fostering allowances I receive?

Foster care allowances don’t count as income, so aren’t taxed. It won’t affect applications for Commonwealth benefits or loan applications, either.

What is the Child Placement Principle?

This principle makes it a legal requirement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to have the best possible opportunity to be raised by loving family members. The principle requires that if an Indigenous child must be placed in out of home care, the order of priority for finding the best possible caring solution is to place the child with:

  • A member of the child’s family
  • A member of the child’s community or language group
  • Another Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who is familiar with the child’s community or language group
  • Another Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person

Questions about the children

How long on average does a child stay in foster care?

The circumstances for every child are different. If you have nominated to be a respite carer, the length of stay is worked out beforehand.

Why must contact be maintained with a parent when the parent has not provided appropriate care?

The goal for all children is for them to be safely reunified with their parent/s when the time is right. Continued contact is part of the process towards reunification.

Do all foster children return to their birth families?

Where possible, children are reunited with their families. However some children are unable to return home. The decision making process for family reunification is undertaken on a case by case basis.

How old are kids who need care?

Kids can be aged between 0-17 years.

How much will I know about the child before they’re placed with me?

We’ll discuss every potential placement with you. We’ll give you as much information about them as we can to help you make an informed decision. Sometimes we have very little information, especially in an emergency. But we always try to find out as much information as we can, as quickly as we can.

Will I have contact with the child’s biological parents?

Yes this is the goal if it is safe and everyone is comfortable. CQID’s experienced staff will support you with all contact arrangements.

Questions about me

Is the timing right for my family to foster?

Caring for a child can be challenging. Carers need to have time, energy and space available – both physically and emotionally.

What happens if I can no longer do the role or need a break?

We understand your personal circumstances can change. Please discuss your needs with us.

Are there restrictions on who can be a carer?

Anyone over the age of 18 can be a carer if they prove they can provide a safe home for children.

Can I choose the type of care I provide?

Yes. During the application process you can say if you are interested in helping with respite, emergency, short term or long term care.

I work fulltime. Can I be a carer?

Yes. Carers might work full-time, part-time, or on a voluntary basis. Carers might be retired or unemployed. Carers might also be full-time or part-time students.

I’m not married and I don’t have kids. Can I be a carer?

Yes. Anyone over the age of 18 can be a carer if they prove they can provide a safe home for children.

Questions about my household

Can I foster if I or someone in my household has a criminal conviction?

A criminal conviction won’t necessarily stop you from fostering. It depends on your conviction and when it happened. Criminal records are checked at early in the application process, so you should let us know as soon as you can. Any information shared with us remains strictly confidential at all times.

What checks are carried out on me and my household?

People over 18 will need to have a police check and a Working with Children Check, which includes a criminal record check for offences involving children. You will also need to complete a health questionnaire, provide three personal references, and pass a standard Housing Safety check. If you have any health concerns, you will also need to pass a GP medical check.

If I’m the primary carer, why are other people in my household checked?

This is because everyone living in your home will have some involvement with your foster child. If you are living with a partner, you will both have to apply.

Can I be a carer if I don’t own my own home?

Yes. Your home just needs to be safe for children.

Do I need a spare room to be a carer?

This is considered on a case by case basis.

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