Foster care at Uniting WA

Want to get the lowdown on what being a foster carer is like? We’ve recorded an on-demand webinar that you can watch whenever it suits.   

Types of foster care

Full-time foster carer

Full-time foster carers are the primary caregivers for a child in need, offering long-term emotional and practical support. This includes daily routines, schooling, and working with Uniting to help the child reach their full potential.
Part-time or respite foster carer

Part-time foster carers provide safe and temporary care for children in existing foster placements on weekends, holidays, or even just a few nights. This flexible arrangement makes a big difference by building the child’s support network and giving primary carers a break. 

Think you might be more suited to part-time fostering?

Who can be a foster carer? 

Foster carers come from all walks of life. Patient, compassionate and resilient, they’ve the kind of people who don’t sweat the small stuff. 

You might be single or married, with or without children. Some carers have fostering experience or work with children, while others are looking for new challenges and opportunities.  

Age, income, and relationship status are only some of the factors that determine whether you can become a foster carer.  

Get in touch via email or fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch with you.

Uniting foster carers are:

Australian citizens or permanent residents

Of sound health

Able to provide a safe, secure and stable home environment

Able to successfully complete background checks, including police clearances and Working With Children Check

Already earning enough income to support their basic needs *You will receive reimbursement for clothing, pocket money and activities for the child

How do you apply to be a foster carer? 

It can take 4-6 months, or sometimes longer, to become a foster carer. While it might seem like a long time, the process is designed to ensure you’re fully prepared for the role.  

To learn more about fostering with Uniting WA, email us today or fill out the form below, and we’ll get in touch with you.

What are the responsibilities of a foster carer? 

The responsibilities of a foster carer are often referred to as their ‘duty of care’.    

Your responsibilities will depend on the child who enters your care, but rest assured, you will not be alone. Family, case workers, schools, departments, and placement agencies share the duty of care.

Below is an overview of some of the responsibilities a foster carer must provide to a child or young person in their care: 

Safe, reliable and consistent care that meets the child’s physical, emotional, social and educational needs. 

Support the development of interests, including hobbies, sports, music, dance and art. 

Respond in a trauma-informed way that promotes healing in a child who has experienced abuse or neglect. 

Dignity, respect, and confidentiality. 

Create a sense of family, identity and culture. 

Provide advocacy support and contribute to future planning. 

Health Management 
Monitoring medical needs, attending appointments, administering medication and using medical equipment.

Physical Care 
This can include feeding, toileting, bathing and dressing the child or young person in your care. 

Therapy Programs 
Attending and supporting children through programs for communication, mobility and independent living skills.

You’re never alone as a foster carer with Uniting WA.

About foster care at Uniting WA 

Uniting WA provides a specialised foster care service that connects foster carers in Perth with children and young people who aren’t able to live in their family home and who have high support needs due to experiences of illness, disability or trauma.
To learn more about fostering with Uniting WA, email us or fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch with you.

Frequently asked questions

Below are just some of the questions we regularly get asked, but if you have anything else you would like to discuss, please call us on 1300 663 298. 

Foster care

Foster care provides temporary homes for children who cannot live with their families due to various circumstances. Adults who offer them a safe and supportive environment until they can return home or find a permanent placement are known as foster carers.  

Foster carers provide these children with a safe and supportive family environment for long-term or short-term where they can form meaningful relationships. 

Children in foster care can be aged anywhere from 0 to 18 years. 

The length of time that children and young people stay in foster care varies depending on each child’s individual situation.   

Some children stay in care for a relatively short period, e.g. a few months, but most placements last for years. In many cases, children remain in foster care until they turn 18. 

The short answer to this question is, yes. You will be required to maintain contact where appropriate. 

The specific requirements of contact will ultimately be decided by the Department of Communities, with the child’s best interests at the forefront of the decision – however, this decision is often made collaboratively between the child, the caseworker, the foster carer and the biological family.   

Generally, your responsibilities will include: 

  • Facilitating contact with the biological family 
  • Providing emotional support to the child 
  • Communicating with the child’s caseworker and biological family  
  • Respecting the child’s boundaries to decline or express discomfort with contact at any time 

You can find out more about this in the Family Care Handbook for Foster Families and the Foster Care Team Approach Practice Framework, published by the Department of Communities.

Where it is possible children will stay at their existing school. 

Specialised foster care

Yes, more than likely they will have high needs.

Children and young people who have experienced trauma due to abuse or neglect often show a range of complex behaviours that develop over time as a survival mechanism. These trauma-based behaviours need a trauma-informed response that’s different to the typical response you might expect from parents in everyday settings. 

Part-time (respite) foster care

Respite care or part-time care in foster care is like a break for both the foster child and the foster family. These occasional breaks are important as it gives everyone the chance to rest and recharge so they can continue their journey together. Respite care provides that break by temporarily placing the child with another qualified caregiver, allowing the foster family some time to relax, attend to personal needs, or simply take a breath. 

Children in respite care can be aged anywhere from 0 to 18 years. 

Yes, you can become a part-time (respite) carer rather than a full-time carer, if that’s your preference. 

Foster carers

Yes! Pets are more than welcome. 


Yes, you can become a foster carer if you work full-time. 

Becoming a foster carer

Everyone’s journey can look different, we find that the average amount of time it can take is 4-6 months, but it could be longer.  

Fostering with Uniting WA

Uniting foster carers receive ongoing practical support and guidance, as well as access to training and a dedicated Senior Case Worker.   

Foster carers are supported by therapists, medical professionals and school staff who provide wrap-around support for the child in their care.  

Uniting Foster Care will also support you financially with a monthly reimbursement to cover the costs of caring for a child or young person with complex support needs, so you won’t be left out of pocket. This financial support often allows Uniting foster carers to commit to fostering on a full-time basis. 

Uniting can connect you with other foster carers in your area. We also host several regular carer events throughout the year, including an annual ‘thank you’ dinner for all our carers. 

The Uniting Foster Care team will stay in regular contact and support you with the child’s care, schools and government departments.  

In return, we ask that you keep us informed about:  

  • How the child or young person is progressing so we can support you in making decisions in the child’s best interests   
  • Any changes in your own life that might have an impact on the care you provide to the child or your ability to remain an approved carer   
  • Anything that might affect the child, including incidents and emergencies 

Find out more

Whether you’re ready to become a foster carer or still in the process of figuring it out – we would love to hear from you. Please answer the questions you’re able to below to help us get a sense of where you’re at in your journey.

Foster care initial enquiry form.

  • We welcome all fostering interests, regardless of experience. We just ask so our team know where you are in your fostering journey.
  • We want the young people in our program to be placed in a stable home which can include a rented or owned home.
  • You can still be a foster carer if you have young people living with you.