Foster care

You do not have to be in a relationship or have a big house to offer foster care to a child or young person.

Foster care is temporary care of children by trained, assessed and accredited foster carers. Victorian foster carers play a vital role in our community, providing a safe and nurturing home to children and young people who cannot live with their birth family.

Children and young people requiring foster care can be of any age (up to 18 years), and can come from various cultural, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds.

Children and young people are placed in foster care for a range of reasons, and foster care can occur as a result of a court order, or through a voluntary arrangement between the child or young person's parent and a service provider. It could be overnight, for a month or longer – it all depends on the needs of the child.

Becoming a foster carer

All around Victoria, everyday people are opening their hearts and their homes to children and young people who cannot live with their families. But many more foster carers are needed.

Anyone who can offer a child or young person with a safe and caring environment can apply to become a foster carer. You don’t have to be in a relationship or have a big house – we need carers from all walks of life, backgrounds, ages and experiences.

The Information for foster carers page provides an overview of the many supports and resources available to help foster carers in their important role.

Foster care agencies

Foster care agencies are responsible for:   

  • Supporting foster carers   
  • Meeting the protection and care needs of children and young people in foster care   
  • Working in collaboration with Child protection and the child or young person's family to ensure the child’s best interests are met.

We fund foster care agencies to recruit and support foster carers.  

Victoria's foster care agencies came together as Fostering Connections in early 2016 to make it easier to find out more about becoming a foster carer.

Care Support Help Desk

The Care Support Help Desk are here to give tailored support to statutory Foster and Kinship carers caring for children and young people who are in care. The team will make sure they have critical documents they need when starting a care placement.

Staff will help existing statutory carers track vital documents for children in care, including Medicare details and birth certificates.

The Care Support Help Desk operates during business hours, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Dedicated teams are located across the state. Find your closest team in the ‘Contacts’ section on the right-hand side of this page.

If you have an issue with your placement, call your agency first or child protection where applicable.

Further information on the Care Support Help Desk can be found under the heading 'Related resources'