About Wanslea

Wanslea Foster Care is a community based fostering agency in Perth, Western Australia. Wanslea Foster Care is committed to high quality care for children and excellence in support of foster carers.

Wanslea is a caring, community-based organisation providing respite, emergency, short and long term foster care services for children.
We provide home based foster care for children aged up to 18 in the Perth and Mandurah areas of Western Australia.
Wanslea provides emergency, short, medium and long term care as well as specialist placements.
Foster carers at Wanslea are well supported and have access to regular learning and development as well as opportunities for social interaction with other carers.
Non-denominational and not for profit, Wanslea has been serving Western Australian families for over 70 years.
Wanslea Family Services was founded in 1943 by Florence Hummerston, a proud West Australian who worked tirelessly for the community.

It had its origins in the Women’s Australian National Service (WANS) War fund, which was established in 1941 with Mrs Hummerston as the Foundation President. The WANS group established a home in Perth where children of servicemen whose wives were ill could be cared for to let their mothers rest and recover.

After the war, when the WANS ceased their duties, a Wanslea Hostel Committee was formed to continue the service offered by the home. Mrs Hummerston was again the foundation president. 

Eventually, the official title of the committee was changed to Wanslea Hostel for Children of Sick Mothers Inc. The main objective of the organisation was ‘to maintain a home for children when their mothers are sick or in hospital and in cases where a mother urgently needs a rest or a change’.

Today, Wanslea continues to provide a valuable service to more than 1500 West Australian children and their families every year.

To find out more about Wanslea’s range of children and family services, visit the Wanslea website.

What is foster care?
Foster care is temporary or long term care for children who are unable to live with their birth families because of abuse or neglect, parental illness, domestic violence or other reasons that impact on their parenting. A foster carer takes on a parental role to these children and provides love, security and understanding in a safe environment. 

Foster carers are married, same sex couples, gay or lesbian, single, separated, divorced or living with a partner. They are working parents and homemakers. If you are 21 or older and have enough room in your heart and home, you can apply to become a foster carer.

Types of foster care
Wanslea Foster Care provides respite, emergency, short and long term foster care for children aged up to 18. In addition, Wanslea provides specialist foster care for children with higher behavioural or physical needs.

Why are children in care?
Children in foster care range in age from infants through to 18 year olds. They come from a variety of different backgrounds and ethnic groups. Children normally come into care due to abuse, neglect or parental illness, often caused by family violence, drug and alcohol use or mental health issues. Children in care have often suffered trauma prior to coming into care and foster carers need to assist them to heal from their difficult start to life.
Some children require special care due to physical or behavioural issues, however they all need love, affection and guidance. Children may need to stay in care for a very short period of time, or for a number of months or years.

Wanslea Foster Care offers volunteer carers the following:

  • Excellent supervision and support from Social Workers and Family Support Workers.
  • Four different office locations for ease of access.
  • Placement support when needed in the home of Foster Carers, delivered by Wanslea’s skilled Family Support Workers.
  • Practical assistance in provision of child care equipment.
  • Support from community groups and businesses who value the service given to the community by foster carers.
  • Clear policies and procedures.
  • After hours on call support service by a team of Social Workers seven days a week.
  • Regular training in a relaxed environment.
  • Peer support from other foster carers.
  • Family and children’s social events throughout the year.
  • Prompt payment of foster care subsidies and reimbursement of expenses.

Hope goes here

Do I have what it takes?

A foster carer is someone who can make room in their home and heart for children who need temporary or long term care. They’re loving, compassionate people who can handle stressful situations. They’re flexible and willing to work as part of a team. Most of all, a foster carer is someone who wants to make a real difference to a child’s life.
Apart from having the above personal traits, potential foster carers must also meet other specific criteria. These include:

  • You must be at least 21 years of age
  • Your marital status or relationship should be stable and unchanged over the past year
  • You should be physically, emotionally and financially stable. However we have a fantastic support team available if required
  • You should not have had a major illness or trauma during the past 12 months
  • You should be able to provide the children with their own room and storage space

Do you have
room for a
foster child?

How to apply

Being a foster carer can be challenging but ultimately rewarding. The process to become a foster carer is rigorous and thorough. And for that, we make no apologies.
Please attend one of our information sessions to find out more and to speak to an existing carer and staff members.

2019 Information on Becoming a Foster Carer Schedule

Please phone our office on 9245 2441 or for Great Southern area call 9843 0070 or send an email to fostercare@wanslea.asn.au for further information.

If you are interested in applying to be a foster carer, you will need to complete and return an application form. Click here to download the application form.
Upon receipt of your application, you will be contacted and arrangements will be made for a staff member to visit you at home and we will discuss your interest and application in more detail. The decision to foster is a significant one and requires thoughtful consideration and the need to have a clear picture about fostering.

If we agree to proceed with your application the following process will occur:

Police/CPFS clearance forms will be signed and forwarded to the CPFS Screening Unit.
Letters will be sent to personal and work referees seeking information about you and your family.
Upon the successful return of the Police Clearance & Department for Child Protection information, Wanslea will initiate the formal assessment process.
Assessments will take between 3-4 interviews and will cover Family History /Family Life/Family Relationships/Social History/Understanding Fostering and Responding to children in care.
All prospective applicants will be required to attend Preparation Training which is the equivalent of 19 hours of training. Other training and workshop participation will be identified with interested applicants.
The assessment information will be compiled into a report and a recommendation for suitability to foster will be made to an Assessment Panel.
Working with Children Check forms will be completed and processed.
All approved foster carers will be inducted into Wanslea Foster Care before their first placement.

Aboriginal care

Aboriginal care

Aboriginal children are over represented in foster care. Wanslea believe that where possible, Aboriginal children should be cared for by Aboriginal carers. Wanslea Foster Care strives to connect Aboriginal children with their culture and with their family network.

Wanslea has support staff trained in culturally appropriate assessments. Many of the things Aboriginal families think might stop them from becoming foster parents – being single, already having children and no spare room, renting, multi-generational living arrangements or some criminal record are not necessarily impediments to becoming a foster carer.

If you are interested in finding out more, you can download a brochure or poster to assist with our Aboriginal Foster Carer recruitment.

Kaartdijin Mia Mia Library

The Wanslea Aboriginal Resource Library opened on Friday 31 March 2017 and is a valuable resource to Aboriginal children in out of home care and their carers.

The library is named ‘Kaartdijin Mia Mia’ meaning ‘Home of knowledge’ in Noongar language. The library has been described by Aboriginal Elders to be a significant resource available to Aboriginal children to enable them to identify with their culture and feel a sense of security and belonging.

The library is a place where children are always welcome to come and browse and often there will be an Aboriginal Elder in attendance to allow for carers and children to learn about their culture first hand.

This library is open to all foster carers from any agency in Western Australia. It has books, toys, CDs, DVDs and other educational resources particularly for Aboriginal children.

To access the Kaartdijin Mia Mia library please call 08 9425 2441

Fostering Information Sessions

Please come along to our next information session to find out more about fostering Aboriginal children and helping to keep them connected to culture and family.

2019 Information Sessions Schedule

Apply now

Spaces needed
for small hearts
in the Great Southern.

Great Southern Fostering

Wanslea Foster Care offers foster care in the Great Southern region of Western Australia. The Great Southern comprises the City of Albany and the Shires of Broomehill-Tambellup, Cranbrook, Denmark, Gnowangerup, Jerramungup, Katanning, Kent, Kojonup, Manjimup, Plantagenet and Woodanilling.

Click here for a map of the region.

Wanslea Foster Carers are supported by professional staff, learning and development and access to equipment and other resources.

If you or someone you know lives in the Great Southern region and would like to find out more about fostering at Wanslea, email fostercare@wanslea.asn.au or call us on 9843 0070 to speak to one of our staff about fostering.

Apply now

See how a little
space can make
a big difference.

Success Stories

Wanslea Foster Journeys

Helping those
who help children

Foster Friends

Providing Support to Foster Carers
Every night, Wanslea foster carers provide a stable, safe and nurturing home to children who cannot live with their own families. Our experience shows that they thrive when they live in a supportive, stimulating environment, connected to community. We are reaching out to community members to help us build a supportive network for foster carers and children in their care. Foster Friends can support our most precious resource – foster carers.

We also need your help to find more foster carers to meet the growing demand. Western Australia’s foster care system is under pressure and we urgently need more foster carers to care for children who otherwise remain at risk.
Our Model
Wanslea Foster Care recruits and supports foster carers who provide therapeutic, safe and thriving homes for children who are unable to live with their parents. We aim to provide these families with a community of support to equip them to succeed. Foster Friends are volunteers who provide back up support to foster families by: preparing meals, running errands, mentoring, tutoring, babysitting, donating clothes, furniture, toys, books, helping with transport, preparing first night bags for children entering foster care, and helping with recreational and holiday activities.

Providing this kind of support is critical if we want to encourage caring families to become and remain foster families. The Foster Friends program ensures that foster families have the help they need, when they need it, within their community.
How it works
Our vision is that each Foster Friend network will provide a range of supports and services to foster families and the children they care for. We aim to surround foster families by a team of volunteers in their community who are in turn supported by their organisation in partnership with Wanslea Foster Care.

Your organisation can help Wanslea to find more foster carers – through your networks and local action, help spread the word about the urgent need for more foster families and help us to develop recruitment campaigns.
For more information about how you or your organisation can partner with Wanslea to support our foster carers, call our Foster Friends Social Worker on (08) 9245 2441 or fosterfriends@wanslea.asn.au.
Foster Friends Film
Wanslea Foster Carers in Perth Western Australia speak about their experiences of being supported by volunteers from their communities. Volunteer foster friends provide support such as child minding, food preparation, respite, activities for children and a listening ear.

Thinking of
Being a Foster Carer?