Step by Step




A resource package to assist foster care agencies in assessing potential foster carers.

Step by Step is a comprehensive, competency based resource produced by by ACWA and issued in partnership with the Aboriginal Child, Family and Community Care State Secreteriat (NSW). It was completely revised and updated in 2010. It provides a range of material to enable agencies and applicants to:

  • engage and share relevant information
  • make an informed decision about the suitability of the applicant to be a foster carer.

As well as generalist assessments, Step by Step can be used in assessing suitability to provide care for children or young people who are: 

  • Aboriginal
  • Adolescent
  • are from a different cultural background to the applicant
  • have a disability

It is necessary to participate in a familarisation workshop about the Step by Step package before using it as an assessment tool. For more information about such courses, please contact Louise Mulroney at ACWA on 02 9281 8822.

How to get a copy of Step by Step

Step by Step consists of eight different documents, seven of which are available on CD and by download from this website.

Hard Copy Version
A package containing all eight documents (plus a CD to enable you to make additional copies customised for the particular needs of your agency) can be purchased from ACWA. Some packages and CDs are also available separately.

Click here to download an order form with price details. Please print, complete and send in by post or fax.

Electronic Version
Most documents can be downloaded from this website. Please see below more information about each booklet and downloading instructions. 

Information Pack for Potential Carers
A resource for people making enquiries about being a carer that can be adapted to the particular needs of your agency. This is available in MSWord format. This enables changes to be made to it to reflect the particular ethos and requirements of your agency. Click here to download.

Applicant Booklets
A collection of handouts and worksheets used by the applicant during the assessment interviews. Five different versions of this document are provided for a range of situations. Click the following links to download:

Assessment Record
A tool for recording and analyzing information gathered in the assessment process. This is available in MSWord format. Click here to download.

This booklet is completed for each applicant undergoing an assessment. It has been designed for you to fill in information relevant to the particular applicant you are assessing. Important tips when completing an assessment record.

How to Use the Assessment Record   

  • Download a separate copy of the Assessment Record for each applicant and save with a distinctive name (eg. include the name of the applicant)
  • Back-up the file frequently. As this record will be completed over a period of time it is essential you do not lose    important information which may be difficult to remember. Ensure that you have off-site backups.
  • Text boxes are provided for answers which will expand as you type into them. Any additional space left after you have completed your response can be deleted to save space in the document.
  • The Assessment Record is a long document. If you find it cumbersome to work with the entire document, you can break it down into different files. (There are 13 different sections that could become 13 different files.) Just ensure all 13 sections are completed for each applicant.

Manual for Assessors
A detailed outline of the assessment activities held with applicants. This cannot be downloaded but is available in hard copy. Click here to download the order form as a PDF. Please print, complete and send in by post or fax.