Have you ever thought about becoming a foster carer? The experience of helping a child in need and supporting their development at a crucial time in their lives can be hugely rewarding. Our community of foster carers are some of the most selfless, generous and caring people who have opened their hearts and homes to children who just need a little stability, support and love.
We truly value your role as a foster carer and will help you every step of the way. We’ve created an inclusive community through which you become a part of our team dedicated to supporting the children and young people in your care.
Here are some of the ways that Challenge Community Services will support you throughout your journey as a foster carer:
Giving you the skills and knowledge you need
We offer learning and development training initially and throughout your foster care journey to help you provide care for the child or young person placed within your home. Ongoing training is required as it ensures you can confidently perform your role and provide the support the child or children in your care need. Regular training throughout your journey will cover the impact of trauma on children’s behaviour, understanding foster care and the out-of-home care system, attachment and bonding, contact with significant others, managing challenging behaviours and caring for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.
Ensuring you are well-equipped as a foster carer
We understand this is a big step in your life and we’re here to help you along the way. All potential carers undergo an assessment prior to being authorised as a foster carer for Challenge so that we can see if you are suitable for the role and to identify any areas that you may need further development in. Once you are approved as a foster carer, we will support you along the way with specialised training and a dedicated case worker team at hand.
The right match to make a positive difference in a child’s life
For every child or young person who is referred to us, Challenge will match him/her with the right carer who will provide the best outcome for their lives and wellbeing. If you are suited to the young person, we will provide information on their immediate needs and discuss any issues that may arise for you and your household before you accept the placement.
Once a child or young person is placed with you, a Challenge caseworker will provide ongoing support to you and the child or young person in your care.
Helping you with your financial situation
Financial support is available to help with the costs of caring for a foster child or young person and is dependent on the number of children in your care, their needs, and the type of care you provide. A standard foster care allowance is paid fortnightly while respite care is paid per placement.
Depending on your circumstances, other financial assistance may be available through the Australian Government. Click here to view the range of supports available.
Support for foster carers at home
Our case workers will communicate regularly with you about your child or young person’s ongoing needs and any concerns you may have. We will conduct a monthly home visit (as a minimum) and provide regular phone and email support as required so you never feel alone. Carers are invited to attend case conferences, regular case plan reviews and will be part of carer reviews, positive behaviour support plans and health and education meetings.
Helping you to manage behaviours
Challenge has a behaviour management policy which guides carers on how they can address behaviour and we also offer training in relation to behaviours of concern. Our techniques provide a roadmap to clearer, more consistent ways to manage any challenging behaviours without resorting to physical punishment, which can re-traumatise the child in your care.
Keeping children/young people connected with their families
Depending on the child or young person’s situation, there may be times that you will need to transport him/her to and from visits with their family members as well as supervise those visits when it is safe and appropriate to do so. We will provide you with support and training so you can feel confident fulfilling this role.
Caring for the carer
We understand that caring for a foster child or young person can be a significant commitment. We provide respite care on a case-by-case basis, so you have the opportunity to have a break, recharge your batteries and look after your general wellbeing.
The most important thing to know as a foster carer is that you are never alone. Challenge will provide the ongoing support and training you require to effectively help a child or young person in need.
If you’ve got a place in your home and in your heart to foster a child, we would love to hear from you.
Click here to download a copy of our Foster Carer’s Handbook to find out more about becoming a foster carer with Challenge.