Burdekin Foster Carer FAQ’s


The Burdekin Association is a small organisation doing great things in the Northern Sydney and the Inner West, Eastern and South East Sydney regions of Sydney. Finding and supporting our Burdekin Foster Carers is part of what we do to successfully support our children and young people.

Shaping the future for the young people that will inherit it.

Burdekin Foster Carers are made up of people from all walks of life. The Burdekin Association provides training and on-the-ground support to ensure that our Foster Carers are enabled to offer safe, stable and nurturing environments for our young people. We are looking for candidates with the experience and skill-set to manage young people with complex and challenging needs.

In the Inner West area of Sydney, we have young people aged 12 – 17 years who live with a carer who provides a nurturing home environment. We also have Supported Independent Living (SIL) options available for young people in out-of-home care and short-term emergency accommodation options for children and young people between 9 to 15. These children and young people are not ready to support themselves independently and need our help. What do they say, it takes a village to raise a child - become part of the village with us!

Deciding to become a Live-in Foster Carer with Burdekin could be one of the most rewarding decision you make in your life. Being a Burdekin Foster Carer is more about the person and their qualities than it is about qualifications. The role is challenging and extremely rewarding.

According to “My Forever Family”, right now, in NSW, we need 350 homes for vulnerable children.

It is safe to estimate that, right now in NSW, we need more than 300 foster carers to look after all of these children.

Stronger, better and more capable – together.

Inspire HOPE.

Young people need Live-in Carers
Jane is 12 years old and lives with her grandfather. Unfortunately, grandpa has become ill and is no longer able to care for Jane. Jane loves art, music and dance.

Frequently asked questions

What is live-in foster care with Burdekin?

Burdekin Foster Carers can live in properties that The Burdekin Association provides or they can live in their own homes (provided the home is suitable).

Can you have a job and still be a Foster Carer?

One thing that people are confused about is whether they can work while caring. Yes, you can still have a job while being a Burdekin Foster Carer. The Burdekin Association provides a lot of support to make this possible. It is a family situation and working for a living is setting a good example.

Do I have to do foster-caring long-term? Can I become a Respite Carer and just do occasional caring?

Many people start off by becoming Respite Carers, giving other foster carers a break once a month or when they go on holidays. Over time as they develop more confidence and skills, they can decide to do short-term or long-term foster caring.

Where do I have to live in order to become a Burdekin Foster Carer?

The Burdekin Association follows the Department of Communities and Justice region which is much bigger than Northern Beaches and Inner West. It includes Northern Sydney region and the Inner West, Eastern and South East Sydney. If you live anywhere within this area, you can become a Burdekin Foster Carer.

What we are looking for in our Live-In Foster Carers

Personality traits

We want young people to feel safe and secure, accepted and supported in a non-judgemental way.

Are you:

  • Empathetic and respectful? Young people often have varying life experience, many of which are traumatic.
  • Understanding, patient and sensitive to other people? You will need to look beyond the behaviour to what is causing it and work out how to support the young person.
  • Supportive and encouraging of young people?
  • Responsible but have a sense of humour?
  • Confident, resourceful and optimistic?
  • Are you flexible and tolerant?
  • Do you want to create change? You have the opportunity to really make a difference to the lives of young people.

You will need, more than anything, to believe in the child or young person, no matter what he or she does.

Experience and skills

  • Do you have experience working or volunteering with children and young people?
  • Can you relate to young people?
  • Do you appreciate the culture of youth?

A good Live-In Carer will be able to deliver the care plan in a professional manner and show resilience and creativity when the care doesn't always go to plan.

Are you:

  • A good communicator and can you listen effectively?
  • Supportive of other cultures, religions and sexualities?
  • A team player with a sense of humour and tolerance of difference?
  • Confident with managing young people’s behaviour?


Having previous experience as a Live-In Carer is extremely valuable but not essential.


  • Be over 25
  • Be an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident.
  • Live locally either to the Northern Beaches or Inner West.
  • Successfully complete the detailed assessment process including reference checks, health checks and Working With Children’s Check and a National Police Check to be able to work as a Carer.
  • You will be required to participate in meetings.
  • You will need to be open to feedback and to take on board comments.

Live-In Carers are responsible for certain aspects of the home, including the preparation and cooking of nutritional meals.

Live-In Carers must ensure that the home environment is clean, safe and comfortable.

What you receive

When you join us, you will become part of an amazing, supportive and fun team.

  • You will have on-going support from our Carer Recruitment and Support Coordinator and wider Burdekin team.
  • We will provide a home for you and the young person to live in.
  • You will receive a Carer allowance to support the young person in your care.
  • You will have access to 24 days respite per annum.
  • Helping young people to maintain their independence is an extremely rewarding experience.

Care leavers are more likely to be homeless, unemployed, suffer from a mental illness or spend time in prison.

  • Not only will you transform the future for the children and young people in your care but you will also be teaching them their own parenting skills for later life.
  • For many people, being a Live-In Foster Carer is life-changing not just for the person in care, but for the carer, too.

Enriched by experience, empowered by hope.

Ready to take the next step and make a difference to a young person’s life?

For more information about becoming a Foster Carer, please contact our Carer Support Coordinators and ask for Kerrie:

Phone: 02 8976 1777
Email: carer@burdekin.org.au

You can also visit our Carers page, hear from our Carers and check out the Carers ad on our Recruitment page.

We acknowledge the Aboriginal people of the Cadigal and Gayamaygal Clans. We acknowledge the Country on which we live, work, and gather as being Aboriginal land.

We acknowledge the lands, waterways and skies that are connected to Aboriginal people. We honour them and pay our deepest respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

We respect their rightful place within our communities, and we value their ancient cultural knowledge and practices.

Aboriginal Flag
Torres Straight Island Flag

We deeply respect that this will always be Aboriginal land and we will honour and follow the first peoples’ values in caring for the Country and for preserving their culture.

We deeply value that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the oldest living culture in the world and we will continue to work with their peoples and communities to ensure their cultures endure and remain strong.