Approval of individuals to be foster or kinship carers is prescribed by section 133 of the Child Protection Act 1999 and section 16, 17, 22-26 of the Child Protection Regulation 2011. These provisions set out that applicants to be foster or kinship carers must meet all of the following criteria:
- is a suitable person to be an approved foster or kinship carer, and all members of the applicant's household are suitable persons to associate on a daily basis with children
- is able to meet the standards of care in the Statement of Standards (see Section 122 of the Act)
- is able to help in appropriate ways towards achieving plans for the child's protection
- does not pose a risk to the child's safety
- understands, and is committed to, the principles for administering the Act
- has completed any training reasonably required by the chief executive to ensure the person is able to properly provide the care
- understands the policies and procedures implemented by the chief executive to ensure the care meets the standards of care in the statement of standards.
In addition, the applicant must be assessed as able to:
- identify personal experiences, background, current family dynamics and lifestyle, and reflect on how these are relevant to caring for a child in care
- provide a safe and stable living environment that is free from harm or risk of harm
- provide a nurturing environment that contributes to a child's positive self regard
- work as part of a team that includes the child, their family, the department and other relevant service providers.For information about the key steps in the assessment of foster and kinship carers refer to Steps to becoming a carer.