Foster carers

Last update: 14 February 2022

The out-of-home care system relies on having foster carers to provide care for children who cannot live with their own family. Foster carers are engaged by an agency, and in NSW these agencies are regulated by the Office of the Children’s Guardian. 

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    Our role

    Our role is to ensure that the systems, structures and care in place around children and young people in out-of-home care meet the required standards. To do this we accredit and monitor the agencies that provide out-of-home care, called designated agencies. We do not work directly with foster carers. 

    Carers Register

    We manage a database of people who have applied to become an authorised carer, or have been authorised as a carer. This database is called the Carers Register. This register allows designated agencies to share information about carers to ensure the people they employ are suitable. 

    The Carers Register records identification information about:

    • identification information about applicants, authorised carers, and their household members
    • household information: the residential address, a list of all people living in the home and  home inspection outcomes
    • associations between carers and household members including movements into and out of carer households
    • applications and authorisation history, including application refusals and any cancellation or suspension of authorisation.

     

    Information about children and young people in care is not recorded on the Carers Register. However, if they continue to reside in a carer’s home after they turn 18 years of age, they require a current NSW Working With Children Check clearance.

    Access to the Carers Register

    Only the Office of the Children's Guardian and the Department of Communities and Justice have full access to the register. The NSW Ombudsman, NSW Police and other law enforcement, investigative and child protection bodies - including those in other states and territories - may also request access to the register.

    An agency only has access to information about its own carers and household members but is also able to access the application and authorisation history of anyone (and their household members) who applies to the agency to become an authorised carer.

    How to request to view or change your information

    The designated agency that a carer applies to or is authorised by, is responsible for entering information onto the register and ensuring this is kept up to date. 

    Agencies are required to tell you that certain information must be entered into the Carers Register, and your consent is not required. If you say that you don’t want your information entered onto the register, the application to be a carer cannot proceed.

    If you’re a carer, applicant carer or an adult household member, you can ask to receive or amend information held in the Carers Register. You may be able to have information updated or corrected on the register by contacting your designated agency first.

    To request this information from the Office of the Children’s Guardian or if you believe any information on the register is incorrect, download, complete and submit the relevant form below.

    The fact sheet below has more details and you can email us with any questions you have about the Carers Register. 

    Forms and questions should be emailed to us at carers-register@ocg.nsw.gov.au

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