Foster carer eligibility requirements

There is no perfect formula for being a foster carer. The most important thing is to have a caring heart and open mind, to understand that children in care are likely to have complex family situations and have faced difficulties in their lives.

But if you have a desire to change the world – one child at a time – we’d love to work with you. We have an obligation to screen all people expressing interest in caring. Some of the considerations are detailed below or you can check your eligibility via our survey link.



Applicants need to be at least 25 and under 70 years of age.


Single applicants may apply.  Married or defacto couples must have been married and/or living together continuously for a minimum period of 2 years. 


If the applicants have children, additional consideration will be given to ensure safety and minimise risk in respect to any child in the home. In most instances, this may result in the child placed by CatholicCare being  the youngest child in the family with at least a 2 year age gap.


Applicants who have been having infertility treatment need to have finished their involvement with the fertility program before applying. Applicants need to be able to demonstrate a degree of acceptance of their infertility and an understanding of the impact of infertility upon each of them as individuals and as a couple. 


The physical, emotional and mental health and wellbeing of an applicant will be assessed to see if they can undertake the task of fostering. Carers are expected to conform to guidelines designed to ensure that children are cared for in a healthy environment, including a smoke free household. Carers are expected not to smoke indoors and away from the child. Training in children’s first aid and a first aid training certificate is desirable for at least one adult member of the household.


CatholicCare requires applicants to be financially stable, sufficient to meet their own needs and commitments. Applicants seeking to provide care may be employed full or part-time if they are able to provide adequate time to the child in their care.


Applicants need to reside in New South Wales at the time of application to the agency and be either Australian citizens or hold a permanent residency visa.


Applicants need to have adequate, safe accommodation for a child.  Children need a bedroom of their own.  All safety requirements eg. fenced pool need to be completed before placement. Applicants may be home owners or rent.


Background checks are conducted including a Working with Children Check and a National Police History Check for any residents in the home who are over the age of 18 years. A check will also be undertaken with the Department of Communities and Justice and applicants details entered onto the NSW Carers Register.  Applicants will be required to provide details of their criminal history (if any) and this will be taken into account when considering their application. Applicants who have a record of violence, sexual assault or a crime against a child will not be able to continue with their application.  Applicants need to be able to provide two references from people who are not related to them. 


Applicants need to demonstrate a capacity to work with our team. The child’s case manager will maintain involvement with the child in care and the family through regular monthly home visits. The case workers will spend time with children on their own also.

If you have any further questions about fostering a child or young person, our team is here to help.

CatholicCare Foster Care
P: (02) 4320 7777

Brochure download

Foster carer enquiry