Fostering a child
Foster caregivers look after children in many ways, from short-term or emergency foster care, to long-term or permanent arrangements.
Becoming a caregiver
To become a foster caregiver you must be approved and trained by the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki.
You’ll need to complete an application form, and provide:
- proof of your identity
- permission for a police check
- a full medical report from your doctor
- names and addresses of two referees.
You’ll also need to take part in personal interviews, one of which will be within your home.
The application process usually takes about 2 to 3 months.
Types of foster care
Emergency care is when a child or young person is placed in your care at short notice because there are serious concerns for their safety.
Respite care is when you take a child for a weekend or a short period of time to give their parents or caregivers a break.
Transitional or short-term care involves caring for a child while the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki, work with their family to make a long-term plan — possibly for about 6 months.
Family Home care is carried out in a home owned by the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki, where two adult caregivers care for up to six children. Family Home caregivers live in the home rent-free, and receive a care allowance for the children in their care.
Permanent care means that a foster child is no longer in the care of the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki, they are in your care for life. This is the goal when children aren’t able to return to their own families.
Support for foster carers
You’ll be supported to do your best for the children in your care.
- regular contact with your social worker and the children’s social workers
- learning and development opportunities, including workshops, publications, and the chance to gain national qualifications
- access to support groups in your area
- financial support, including a fortnightly care allowance, a quarterly clothing allowance, and allowance for Christmas and birthday presents.