What is Foster Care
Foster care is providing a secure, safe and supportive home environment to children and young people who can no longer reside with their families. Children and young people enter into foster care for a myriad of reasons, but generally they have experienced a degree of trauma, neglect and abuse that required intervention and removal for their own safety and well-being.
Foster carers open their homes and hearts and assist these children and young people by providing homes with nurturing environments, that allows these children and young people to feel comfortable and supported so they can grow and develop in a happy and healthy way.
Types of Foster Care
This involves care provided for regular short stays (e.g. one weekend per fortnight or per month). It gives families a break and provides a positive experience for the child.
Respite foster carers are asked to make a commitment of twelve (12) months.
Temporary or Short Term Care
Temporary care is limited in time, usually overnight to three (3) months maximum. At the end of temporary care, the child may return to their family or be placed in long-term care.
Temporary care may be needed because of:
- an emergency e.g. illness or other family crisis
- intervention by NSW Department of Family and Community Services, where a child is removed from their parents to ensure their safety and well-being.
Long Term Care
This is care for children who cannot live with their families and need a family to grow up with until their family circumstances change or they turn 18.
This is short notice and will need to commence immediately. The stay could be a few days or up to three (3) months.
Becoming a Foster Carer
You must be able to:
- Make a commitment to being a meaningful person in a child’s life
- Provide a safe, loving and caring environment to a child
- Respect children and their primary attachment to their families
- Demonstrate that you are a creative problem solver, have listening skills, flexibility and a sense of humour
- Manage your family finances with the addition of another child and the organisation’s reimbursement for the type of care you provide
- Participate in meetings, networks and training that involve your carer role
- Have a First Aid Certificate; and
- Work as part of a larger team.
Specifically you will be asked to:
- Make a “Prohibited Employment Declaration” that you have not been convicted of a serious sex offence, which prohibits you from applying to be a Foster Carer
- Consent to allow screening of your criminal and work record in relation to sexual misconduct and acts of violence involving children (Working with Children Check).
You will also need to provide a 100-point identification check, e.g. Passport, Drivers Licence, Medicare Card etc.
Each carer is allocated a support person who is available to debrief, discuss any issues that may arise, discuss strategies and provide advice as required. Your support person will contact you by telephone, email and in person regularly if you have a full time placement. This contact is flexible depending on your schedule.
Our Caseworkers will:
- Provide child-centred case management
- Provide ongoing support
- Include carers, children and young people in decisions
- Provide 24hr telephone support
- Provide Training and Carer development
- Advocate for carers, children and young people
- Listen and be approachable
- Provide prompt responses
- Assist with maintaining birth family connections.
24 Hour Support
Veritas House provides each carer with on-call telephone support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This service is used for duty of care issues or at times of a critical incident or stressful situation. A support person will be available to speak with you and guide you through any issues that you may be having during or after normal business hours.
Learning & Development Opportunities
Veritas House is committed to providing carers with regular ongoing learning and development opportunities. We run regular training days focussing on a range of topics including behaviour management, working to a case plan, supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in care, as well as a series of other topics.
Veritas House is committed to providing carers with a chance to network with other carers on a regular basis. Veritas House runs regular carer picnics, morning teas and sports days as well as having an end of year party where carers and young people can enjoy the festive season.
Carer’s Transition to Veritas House Inc.
The NSW Government is dedicated to providing the best possible care and outcomes for children, young people and their families who are involved in the statutory care system.
Due to recommendation 16.2 of Justice James Wood’s 2008 Report proposing that Out of Home Care (OOHC) should gradually transition away from the NSW Government, current carers are being asked to transition to Non-Government Organisations (NGOs). This has come into affect because research shows that NGOs do a great job in providing time and support to children and young people in care and offer greater support to carers.
Once carers have requested a transfer to Veritas House by completing the consent to release information form, Family and Community Services will be required to pass on all files relating to the carers and to the children in their care. This must include the carers’ initial assessment, training history, identified strengths and challenges and details of any substantiated or unsubstantiated allegations against the carer.
You will then be contacted by a Veritas staff member and the Veritas Carer Assessment process will begin.
See also Office of the Children’s Guardian Certificate Of Accreditation.
Join the Veritas House Care Team
Thank you for taking the time to read through our information about Veritas House and our foster care service. If you are keen to join Veritas House as a valued foster carer we would love to hear from you.
Please fill out your details in the form provided and one of our caseworkers will be in touch as soon as possible. Alternatively you can speak to our Carer Support and Recruitment Careworker on (02) 6332 3882.
For all other enquiries please contact our Veritas House Foster Care team on (02) 6332 3882.