Assessment process for new carers
- Step 1: Express interest in becoming a foster or kinship carer
Contact Foster and Kinship Carers Association NT advocates to express interest in becoming a carer. It is a good idea to have a telephone or face to face conversation with one of our advocates prior to applying to become a foster or kinship carer. Interested parties can complete the Foster Carers Association NT Membership and Carer Expression of Interest form to commence the application process.
- Step 2: Pre-assessment Screening Checks
At the commencement of the application process the applicant is required to participate in a series of screening checks. These include:
- Australia-wide Police Check
- Working with Children Clearance (Ochre Card)
- Child Protection History Check
- Medical Report
- Two Character Referee Reports
- Home Environment Safety Check
- Referee check for current or prior caring experience
Talk to your carer support and assessment worker about payment and reimbursement for costs associated with applying for the screening check.
- Step 3: Pre-Service Training
As part of the assessment process carers are required to complete the Territory Families Foster & Kinship Induction Training which comprises 6 modules of competency.
Module 1 - Introduction to Foster Caring
Module 2 - Caring for Aboriginal Children in Your Care
Module 3 - A New Child in Your Home
Module 4 - Understanding Why Children Come into Care
Module 5 - Understanding the Impacts of Trauma and Creating a Healing Home
Module 6 - Managing Continuity and Self-Care
Carers will receive a Certificate of Completion upon successfully completing of all of the modules.
- Step 4: Carer Assessment Interviews
The full carer assessment will be completed over approximately 2-3 visits with at least one of the visits being conducted in the applicant’s home.
Where age and developmentally appropriate, the Territory Families assessment & support worker may involve children and/or young people, and other household members in the interview process.
- Step 5: Carer Assessment Report is completed and submitted to Territory Families
The Territory Families carer assessment and support worker will complete a comprehensive report summarising findings from the interviews, screening checks and making recommendations.
Applicants will be provided with the opportunity to make comment on the report prior to it being submitted. Any comments will be documented and submitted as an attachment. Applicants are entitled to discuss any disagreement with the report and its recommendations with a more senior assessor.
- Step 6: Application Outcome Notification – Successful or Unsuccessful
Once approved, your induction process begins.
1. Medical Check
Your General Practitioner completes a written report and provides information on your physical and emotional capacity to care for children and young people.
2. Criminal history check
Police are requested to provide details of the criminal history for you and all household members over the age of 15 years. If there is a history of minor offences, you may still be considered to become a carer. The recency and severity of the offences will be taken into account during the assessment.
3. Working with Children Clearance (Ochre Card)
Clearance Notices are designed to keep children and young people safe by preventing those who pose a risk to the safety of children and young people from working with them, in either paid or volunteer work. This check is conducted on you and all household members over the age of 18 years. It checks the person’s criminal and employment records to ensure there is nothing in their history which may constitute a serious risk of harm to children and young people.
4. Child protection check
Territory Families will conduct a check of their records to ascertain if you and household members over the age of 15 years have a child protection history. If necessary, interstate and international child protection checks will also be carried out. Having a history of involvement with child protection does not automatically exclude someone from being a carer as the recency and severity of any history will be taken into account.
5. Home environment check
An assessment will be conducted of your home and immediate outside area to ensure it is a safe environment suited to the age and development of a child and/or young person.
6. Referee Reports
You will be asked to provide the names of two character references who can give a reference about your suitability to become a carer. If you have provided care before through another agency or business you will also be asked to give a referee who can provide information about this.
Who pays the foster carer entitlements?
When you become a carer there are various payments and concessions you are entitled to as part of your caring role. There are some things you will be expected to pay for; The Alternative Care Support Payments Quick Reference Guide outlines who pays for what