Do you have what it takes to be a Carer?
Carers are everyday people who like helping others, particularly children. There are many things to think about in deciding whether or not you wish to become a carer, and the department will also look at your skills and qualities in a range of areas. These include: your motivation to become a carer, your ability to work as part of a team, your capacity to support the development of young children, and your ability to provide a safe environment.
The answers to the following questions may help you in deciding whether to apply.
What checks are completed?
You will need to complete a Criminal History Check, a Working with Children Clearance and a Child Protection Check. The costs of these will be covered by the department, and a Carer Assessment and Support Practitioner will provide you with the paperwork and explain the process to you.
Do I need to be married or have a partner?
Carers can be male or female, single or couples (including same sex couples).
Am I willing to have Case Managers in my home?
This requires excellent communication skills, a willingness to work with others and a commitment to follow the plan set forth by the Case Manager.
Do I have to have children of my own to be a carer?
Carers don't need to be parents to be good carers. What is important is that they can relate well to children and young people and are capable of meeting their needs.
Am I willing to show a child that families are a great place to grow up?
Carers need to be able to provide children with a healthy, caring family environment.
Does my age matter?
Not specifically, what matters is your capacity to provide care for a child in a way that promotes their well-being, ensures that all of their needs are being met and protects them from harm.
Do I have to own my own home to be able to care for a child?
No you do not need to own your own home. If your home is owned by the Department of Housing or you are renting privately, you will need to check the conditions of your lease in regard to children living there.
Can I still work full or part time?
Yes, carers can work full time, part time, or not at all.
Can I foster a child if I don't have a spare room? Can they share a room with my child?
This may be OK if the children are of similar age, but it will also depend on the child's needs, as well as the needs of your child. This would need to be discussed with the Out of Home Care Carer Assessment and Support Practitioner or Aboriginal Community Worker.
Will I be able to say goodbye?
You and your family will develop close relationships with the children in your care that will help the child. However a child in your care may move on some day and it can be hard to say goodbye.
Am I patient person?
Some children need a lot of support and may not demonstrate how much you have helped them. Your role is to help a child to be safe, to grow and to reach their potential.
If you can say ‘yes’ to most of these questions and you are still interested in becoming a carer, complete the Carer Expression of Interest form and email to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to the following address:
Carer Assessment and Support
PO Box 40596,
Casuarina. NT 0811